Press Pause


Routines are good. They keep us steady in our day to day lives. They ensure our clothes are clean, our bodies are clean, we’re fed regularly, the people we’re responsible for caring for are cared for and we get enough sleep. But every now and then, breaking with routine and doing something different can have a profound effect on how we see our routines and might help us do something better or different in an important way. And now just might be the perfect time.

When’s the last time you got out of your routine? Have you even thought about how may routines you have in your life?! Some examples might be:

  • The way you drive to work every day

  • Your daily hygiene

  • Your exercise program

  • Your food regimen

  • The type of meditation practice you do

  • How you relate to the important people in your life

  • What you do when you first wake up in the morning

Any of these could be a good thing to have in your life. Routines often keep us grounded. They can help steady us through the inevitable ups and downs of life. They can help us maintain our health and sanity. 

But what if there’s something you want to change? What if there’s a pattern in your life that just doesn’t seem to be serving you? Or is actually doing you or your relationships harm?

That’s where a shake up might come in handy. Maybe it’s time to press the pause button on that routine and step outside the day to day so you can see the world (and yourself) differently.

Maybe you’ve been on a weight-loss journey and you’ve been at a plateau for a time. You had been steadily making progress but you seem to have stalled. This can be SO frustrating. But what if you changed up your exercise routine a bit? What if you got outside and did some hiking instead of your usual weightlifting routine? Or went for a swim instead of running on a treadmill? You might find that you A) find another form of exercise you really like and B) jumpstart your weight-loss by changing how you use your body. 

Maybe this has nothing to do with loosing weight but with your exercise regiment itself. Changing up your activities might help you build strength and flexibility or cardiovascular fitness in a way that wasn’t happening with your other routine. You might even find a different activity becomes a great compliment to your usual forms of movement (hiking and yoga anyone?! ;-) ).

What if you wanted to change your relationship with someone close to you. Often our reactions to the people around us can fall into routines too. These can be some of the hardest to break because they are SO ingrained in us and are often so tied to our emotions. We might (if we’re lucky) even have the awareness to see it happening in the moment, but feel completely unable to change the response because we are so caught in the reactivity of the moment. 

Maybe it’s time for a vacation. Believe me, I don’t say those words lightly. I know full well how difficult this can be for reasons that can range from financial investment to work responsibilities or lack of paid vacation to the simple coordination with the rest of the family and all THEIR similar situations. However, you really can’t put a price tag on the time to reconnect with the people you love.

But we’re just talking about breaking out of your routine here. So maybe it’s just an overnight camping trip to that campground down the road (NH State parks have an amazing array of close and far away sites for as little as $23.00/night depending on the type of amenities you require) or an AirBnB a short drive away (some of the most interesting and memorable “vacations” I’ve had have been right here in NH in someone else’s backyard!). Maybe you just take the day off and go to the beach and turn off your cell phone for the day.

Maybe you do one of these things all by yourself. You might be surprised how liberating that can be and how much it may make you realize you value the people closest to you. 

These are just a few ideas to help you shake things up a bit in your life. Which one will you try?!

In Praise of Repetition

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It’s an interesting phenomenon in the world of yoga. Perhaps you’ve found this in other places, but it seems like we’re always trying to do a “new” pose or a “new” sequence. I certainly know as a new teacher I tried to create something “new” week after week. But if we look at the practice of yoga as a discipline just like any other, we have to acknowledge that the key to learning anything is repetition. 

The definition of “a discipline” is a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education. Having lived in the world of higher education for a whopping 9+ years, I feel pretty confident in saying that yoga is certainly up there with any branch of knowledge one might study in a university. Not only for its content, but also for its depth and breadth. It would be easy to study yoga for many lifetimes and still only scratch the surface of what’s there for us to examine.

By coming back to our mats over and over again we get the opportunity to connect to this discipline of yoga much more deeply. Each time we come back we make that scratch in the surface of this knowledge just a little deeper.

Strength and flexibility in the mind or the body only develop with time and practice. With attention and discipline. With the commitment to come back to it over and over again. With each repetition, we continue to lay down the neural pathways we need not only to find the coordination to put that front knee over the ankle with precision, but to truly understand what it means to do so physically, energetically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We develop not just coordination in the movement of the front leg back to down dog or forward into a lunge, we get to explore what that means in the body we’re living in at that moment. 

As a teacher, I have seen the difference this idea of repetition has brought to the practice not only for myself but for my students. Just like learning my scales when I was playing bassoon, I can see what a difference that continued attentive repetition creates in all the aspects above in myself and others. For those that have been practicing with me, I hope you can see/feel that too. 

I’ll continue to dedicate myself to creating a curriculum of practice that helps you explore this branch of knowledge we call yoga, with all the depth and breadth that it provides for us on this amazing journey we call life. You just need to continue to show up.