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How to Banish Pain and Injury from your Fitness and Wellbeing Practice

How to Banish Pain and Injury from your Fitness and Wellbeing Practice

There's a problem with "Be here now."  It's not really possible. In particular, it's not possible if where we want to be isn't here. And even more, it's not possible if we don't really like here all that much. After all, that's the whole point of why we're trying to get someplace else. It's better there than here.  But somehow we're asked to stop trying to get where we think we should be, and instead get into where we are.  It's complicated. So, this has to do with a bit more than yoga or tai chi, running or climbing, or whatever our fitness and wellbeing practices might…
How to Learn Martial Arts

How to Learn Martial Arts

What if I want to learn something, I think it's valuable for me, but the practice feels completely wrong? This comes up sometimes. A part of us doing something another part doesn't like. Recently it was in a question from a friend about learning martial arts. I'll share a bit of her question here, it's helpful for learning martial arts if that's your interest. It might also relate to some other choices we make, about how we learn, and what we practice each day. "It felt like we were consciously destroying our bodies, crushing our feet, legs and joints. Seriously,…
Getting Started with Strala, Yoga, and Tai Chi

Getting Started with Strala, Yoga, and Tai Chi

Strala combines the movement wisdom of tai chi with the forms of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, as a way to help people release stress, heal, and move more easily through all kinds of challenge.   As a result, Strala is used all around the world, in a wide variety of contexts - from bringing ease into everyday life, training for professional athletes, healing of disease, injury and pain, to finding connection, creativity, and inspiration in the work place.   It's easy to get started here, and most of what we do is free for everyone. As…
One Part of Me Is Doing Something Another Part Doesn’t Like

One Part of Me Is Doing Something Another Part Doesn’t Like

There's a very good question that comes up, often near the beginning of a new way of practice. "What if the old way is so much in me? I really like Vinyasa and astanga. Or Bikram and burpees. It feels good to me. At least most of it does. Maybe some parts not so much, maybe sometimes I'm a little injured or frazzled. Or I have some pain, some difficulty, that isn't going away. But it works for me, I think. And I like this new way, too. So are they both ok? What if they don't agree with each…
Is This Real Yoga?

Is This Real Yoga?

Sometimes this question comes up, is this real yoga? If you take the yoga form, but focus on the whole movement rather than the endpoints, the poses, is it real yoga? We don't hear this as often now, but my guess is it comes up for everyone sometimes.   I think this definition of real yoga as the yoga form moving badly - without practice of moving well - can't survive so much now. The science doesn't support it. And it doesn't feel right.   So I think this idea remains only where people expect yoga to be usually awkward,…
What It Means to be a Guide

What It Means to be a Guide

The thing about alignment is, it's important.  We should always be in agreement with ourselves.  Not part of us doing something another part doesn't like.  So this is important. It's just not something we can think our way into.  And it doesn't come from outside us somewhere, from correcting, manipulating, or pushing.  We fall out of harmony, out of alignment, when we don't move well. When we make some bad choices. Sometimes we choose stress and struggle. If something challenges us we might choose force, instead of peace. We might practice aggression, instead of grace, ease.  We fall into disconnection, disharmony, this…
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