Some Years Ask Questions. Others Answer Them.

Some Years Ask Questions. Others Answer Them.

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. Can someone puh-lease tell me where in the heck 2014 went?! Why is it that the older we get, the quicker the years seem to fly past us? It’s the first weekend of the new year, and it marks a milestone of sorts for me. One year ago this weekend, I was sitting at a Sankalpa Yoga Retreat. I had been sick for nearly a month. I had no voice. I was coughing uncontrollably. I was learning first hand how difficult it is to breathe when you have a respiratory infection mixed with allergies and asthma. I was very unhappy with my living conditions and with the cold, gray, rainy weather. I was longing for health and sunshine and happier days. My immune disorder hadn’t been diagnosed yet but still I knew, deep within me, very intuitively, that my body was growing sicker and weaker each day. I was sick and tired — and literally sick and tired of being sick and tired. As I fought back tears, I felt instinctively that I would not survive to see many more years if I didn’t make drastic changes in my lifestyle to help heal my weakened immune system. That day was a turning point for me. As I sat in that room full of strangers, in a city I couldn’t completely call home, in a place I’d never even been…. I began to work through the asanas. The teacher would say a pose, and I’d do it. He’d remind us to flow with our breath, and I would. And with each posture, each breath, I felt...
Yoga Warm-Up Routine

Yoga Warm-Up Routine

As you probably already know if you’ve been following the blog or Facebook page, I recently wrapped up my yoga teacher training in Boca Raton, Florida and have been continuing teaching yoga-dance fusion classes back in my home state of Kentucky. A few of you asked me to share some of the specific flows I’ve been teaching. Well, ask and ye shall receive! I’ll be sharing more flows, and even including a soundtrack of some of my favorite music to use during yoga classes, so keep checking back. I’ll be adding more yoga and meditation resources in the near future… For now, this should be enough to get ya started! Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Warm Up Difficulty: Beginner (Level 1) to Intermediate (Level 2) Type: Ashtanga Inspired Vinyasa Note from Brittany: This is a warm up for a Vinyasa flow inspired by Ashtanga teachings. Certain asanas (postures) are not meant for beginners and should be performed only under supervision of a trained yoga teacher who can spot you and adjust you as needed. As you work through the following flow, please remember to listen to your body. Yoga is not the time for ego. It is not the time for comparing yourself to others. It is a journey through your breath. It is a journey to self love and acceptance. Breathe into the stretches just at the edge of what is challenging to your body, but don’t push yourself into pain. Love yourself, breathe, relax, and modify the postures as needed for any injuries or other physical conditions you might have. There might be more advanced versions of postures that...
Happy National Physical Therapy Month!

Happy National Physical Therapy Month!

October is National Physical Therapy Month here in the United States. There are some mixed feelings in the yoga community surrounding physical therapy. Personally, I’ve had physical therapy multiple times over the years for various injuries, and it’s helped me each time. I am not saying that any particular healing technique is “better” than the other, but I do think that physical therapy (under the trained guidance of a certified therapist or doctor) can go hand-in-hand with yoga, tai chi, massage and other healing arts. As someone who is hypermobile, I am prone to injuries myself. Physical therapists have helped me heal and I wanted to share some wrist exercises that have been helpful for me in releasing tension, improving flexibility, and reducing pain and popping. Disclaimer, y’all: Now… as always… The complimentary advice provided here is based on my personal experience and is definitely NOT a substitute for working with a doctor, physical therapist, or other trained medical professional. Therefore, I cannot guarantee the outcome of following the advice. My statements about any potential outcomes from performing the following list of recommendations are simply expressions of my personal opinion only — and are NOT the equivalent or substitute for any medical advice. Again, by reading this article, you are agreeing that the act of following any of this advice is completely at your own risk. I highly recommend that you consider hiring a doctor, physical therapist or other medical professional to assist you with any injury or medical issue you might be having. Folks who actually have yoga-related injuries: The same disclaimer above still applies. If you’re looking...
My First Yoga Teaching Experience

My First Yoga Teaching Experience

I did it! I did it! On Thursday, I taught my first-ever full yoga class, a 1.5 hour Ashtanga-inspired Vinyasa flow. I taught in Boca Raton, Florida, USA, where I’ve spent the past month studying yoga as part of an intense, 200-hour yoga teacher training immersion. By the end of October, I’ll be certified through Yoga Alliance — and, sadly, departing the gorgeous tropical beach climate to head back to Kentucky, just in time for winter. I am usually a very comfortable public speaker, but I have to admit I found myself nervous as I stepped on that mat in the front of the room and prepared to teach a class of nearly two dozen gorgeous women from around the world. Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Florida, Tennessee, Mexico, New Jersey, Kentucky and Canada were all represented in that room. I couldn’t be happier with how my first class went. After a few minutes, I began to find my inner peace. A sense of calm confidence took over, and about halfway through the class I really found my flow. It didn’t hurt that I had included some empowering Beyonce jams in my yoga playlist, of course. Luckily, the ladies in the class were REALLY into it.. possibly even more than I was. We were laughing, joking, posing, dancing, shaking our hips, feeling our bodies, releasing feminine energy. The energy of the class, the positive feedback I received and the atmosphere in the room were so beautiful. One student told me, “I think I just fell in love with you.” Several others gave me warm hugs after the class, thanking me...
Hello, from Paradise!

Hello, from Paradise!

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” — Caroline Myss Sooooo… If you’re wondering why I have been so quiet over here lately, it’s because I’m down in Boca Raton, Florida for a very intense yoga immersion. Scroll down to learn more about what I’m doing, and to answer some questions I have for you! I remember the first time I ever did yoga. I was seventeen years old, away at college, and part of our health and fitness curriculum included a yoga class. I had no idea what yoga was (other than just something Sting and Madonna did for fun) and I’m SO GLAD to have been exposed to it at such a young age. It was the first time I discovered I have the power within myself to quiet my own mind through simple techniques. Although I took several yoga classes and workshops in states around the US throughout my twenties, I didn’t develop a personal yoga practice until I was nearly 30. My health had begun failing, my stress levels were at an all-time high, I was depressed and anxious most of the time, my relationships were chaotic, and the yoga mat was the only way I could find peace. I remember telling a friend how beautiful the world seemed to me when I was doing yoga, and how I wished I could feel that way all the time. Later, I started dreaming of one day attending a yoga retreat, doing yoga on the beach, or even getting certified to teach yoga. At 29, I began...
Major Announcement (Hint: It involves Yoga and the Beach)

Major Announcement (Hint: It involves Yoga and the Beach)

Major, major news today… After years of filling up my bucket list with life goals such as “go on a yoga retreat,” “do yoga on the beach” (yeah, I live in a landlocked state, y’all) and “become a certified yoga instructor” I have a big announcement to make. I’m leaving TOMORROW to embark upon the journey of a lifetime. I’ve been awarded a scholarship to study yoga during a month-long teacher training immersion in Boca Raton, Florida. That’s right. I’ll be WALKING DISTANCE to the beach. I’ll be practicing yoga, ayurveda and meditation each and every day (surrounded by other like-minded folks who are doing the same thing). I’ll be eating fresh, healthy vegan meals. I’ll be soaking up the sun for an entire month (just as the weather turns cooler here in Kentucky). I’ll be living and breathing this stuff, aaaaaand I’ll be hopefully certified to teach yoga when I return. Wow. Seeing that in writing is crazy. Even crazier? This new chapter of my life starts in 24 hours. So, I really was on the fence about whether or not to announce that here on my blog. I mean, this is 2014 and technically, if I wanted to, I could continue just scheduling blog posts and social media updates. You’d never really HAVE to know I was gone. But I want to be transparent. I want you to know what’s up (because hopefully, this yoga and self care stuff interests you, too). And, most importantly, I’m just wayyyyy too flippin’ excited to keep this a secret any longer. Here’s a photo I snapped of Ella the Wonder...