"for true happiness, honesty is required."

— Tazima Davis

Compassionate Cause - April

American Red Cross

Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami

This month’s gift to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.

For more information:


Donate to support:


…i donate 5% of my revenue to my compassionate cause of the month…

natarajasana - lord of the dance pose
taken in New Mexico during my cross country drive.

natarajasana - lord of the dance pose

taken in New Mexico during my cross country drive.

…my most favoritest yoga poster…
it is a chakra diagram with lots of bonus info.
purchase here

…my most favoritest yoga poster…

it is a chakra diagram with lots of bonus info.

purchase here

adho mukha svanasana - downward facing dog / down dog
in this pic: me giving a juicy and playful assist to  my good friend and DC-based acupuncturist extraordinaire Nicole Mires.
even if you can’t get anyone to stand on your back and giggle with you, you can still access the joy and receive the  benefits of down dog… once you get through the mental dance you might  have to do to consider that it’s actually a rest position.
things to remember:
from plank pose (heels over balls of feet, wrists beneath  shoulders), inhale and activate the core lifting the belly button up and  toward the spine
exhale push the hips up high and surrender the heart toward the earth
spread fingers wide and root down through the knuckles at the base  of the fingers, especially the index finger side of the palm - press all  the air out from under the palm
rotate triceps (backs of arms) toward the thighs and roll the  shoulders down and away from the ears and toward each other - when you  do this correctly, it feels like the posture gets harder, but remember:  better alignment prevents injury
straighten the elbows (unless you’re double jointed and in that case, slightly bend them)
keep the core engaged as you activate the thighs to help reach hips up - do not lock out the knees
if you have tight hamstrings, bend the knees a bit to access the shoulders and allow the chest to move toward the thighs
reach the heels toward the floor - it is NOT necessary for the heels to touch the floor
it is more important to have a straight and dynamic line of energy  from the hands to the hips than to have straight legs or heels on the  floor
relax the head and allow the crown release toward the earth, turn the gaze (dristi) toward the navel or upper thighs
breathe deeply
benefits of adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog) include  strengthening the arms and legs as well as stretching the calves,  achilles tendons, hamstrings, shoulders, and hands.  it can also improve  digestion, relieve stress, headache and fatigue, and alleviate  menstrual or menopausal symptoms.

adho mukha svanasana - downward facing dog / down dog

in this pic: me giving a juicy and playful assist to my good friend and DC-based acupuncturist extraordinaire Nicole Mires.

even if you can’t get anyone to stand on your back and giggle with you, you can still access the joy and receive the benefits of down dog… once you get through the mental dance you might have to do to consider that it’s actually a rest position.

things to remember:

  1. from plank pose (heels over balls of feet, wrists beneath shoulders), inhale and activate the core lifting the belly button up and toward the spine
  2. exhale push the hips up high and surrender the heart toward the earth
  3. spread fingers wide and root down through the knuckles at the base of the fingers, especially the index finger side of the palm - press all the air out from under the palm
  4. rotate triceps (backs of arms) toward the thighs and roll the shoulders down and away from the ears and toward each other - when you do this correctly, it feels like the posture gets harder, but remember: better alignment prevents injury
  5. straighten the elbows (unless you’re double jointed and in that case, slightly bend them)
  6. keep the core engaged as you activate the thighs to help reach hips up - do not lock out the knees
  7. if you have tight hamstrings, bend the knees a bit to access the shoulders and allow the chest to move toward the thighs
  8. reach the heels toward the floor - it is NOT necessary for the heels to touch the floor
  9. it is more important to have a straight and dynamic line of energy from the hands to the hips than to have straight legs or heels on the floor
  10. relax the head and allow the crown release toward the earth, turn the gaze (dristi) toward the navel or upper thighs
  11. breathe deeply

benefits of adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog) include strengthening the arms and legs as well as stretching the calves, achilles tendons, hamstrings, shoulders, and hands.  it can also improve digestion, relieve stress, headache and fatigue, and alleviate menstrual or menopausal symptoms.

"

Basketball is an endurance sport, and you have to learn to control your breath; that’s the essence of yoga, too.

So, I consciously began using yoga techniques in my practice and playing.

I think yoga helped reduce the number and severity of injuries I suffered. As preventative medicine, it’s unequaled.

"

Set #11: 99 of 108 Vinyasas across the nation from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA

Location: Poolside in the back yard of my cousin’s lovely home near Tempe, AZ

Notes: Sunday’s rest was much needed and even though my sleep was somewhat restless, I was pumped about this final leg.  Only 402 miles made this the shortest leg of the trip.  The rest ranged from about 550-800 miles each day. WHEW! 

I kept this practice simple and made sure to include some twists and a nice hanumanasana to help with the hip flexors.  I flipped the dog just for fun and to honor my cousin’s two terriers that love CURRY! LOL!

Set #10: 90 of 108 Vinyasas across the nation from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA

Location: I-40 West (exit 128) near Las Lunas, Valencia, New Mexico

Notes: The backdrop of this practice was just STUNNING and super inspirational. It was also HOT!  I added a shoulder-variation opening eagle and opted out of all the chaturangas because my shoulders were on fire from yoga and driving tension. 

I wished I could stay longer and do a fuller, more juicy restorative practice, but had to keep it moving in order to get to dinner at my cousins in a timely fashion. 

Dinner did turn out to be AWESOME with grilled salmon, veggies, and potatoes… eaten at about 9 pm.  We chatted until about 11 then needed to get some rest.

Set #8: 72 of 108 Vinyasas across the nation from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA

Location: Roadside I-44 Westbound near Kellysville, OK in the Creek Indian Nation.

Notes: This was a really hot set; not sure of the temperature but it was definitely at LEAST 85 deg F. I stopped along I-44 Westbound because I was starting to feel tired and needed some energy.  As usual, the practice got me going again. 

I was also excited about practicing in Native American lands. I was fascinated each time we passed into another reservation. The east has no such delineations, well perhaps not as clear as in Oklahoma.

stopped off at the Sideling Hill rest stop on I-68 near Hancock, MD
took a couple yoga shots, which was a little challenging since it was crazy cold and windy and drizzly.
flying crow (variation)

stopped off at the Sideling Hill rest stop on I-68 near Hancock, MD

took a couple yoga shots, which was a little challenging since it was crazy cold and windy and drizzly.

flying crow (variation)

"Farewell DC" Vinyasa Flow | Washington, DC | DC-LA Yoga Mala
Om shanti shanti DC! This is the intro to my personal Yoga Mala Journey of 108 vinyasa flows across the nation from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, CA

one of my favorite arm balances Parsva Bakasana - Side Crow Variation
photo credit: MC Wolfe

one of my favorite arm balances Parsva Bakasana - Side Crow Variation

photo credit: MC Wolfe