Women’s Yoga & Leadership Retreat

Please join us for this Women’s Yoga & Leadership Retreat.

Step into a Soulful journey with us!  We promise your Heart will be moved!

Click here for details – Leadership Retreat Brochure 9330416567_1414db5164_o-2

Women’s Yoga & Leadership Retreat

Please join us for this Women’s Yoga & Leadership Retreat.

Step into a Soulful journey with us!  We promise your Heart will be moved!

Click here for details – Leadership Retreat Brochure 9330416567_1414db5164_o-2

5 reasons to practice Yoga!

Meditating with Bodhi1.  Gain more flexibility! –  Did you know if your muscles are flexible even the arteries in your heart are more flexible.  Literally you can decrease your risk of heart disease if you can touch your toes.  And it is a welcome freedom I have found when I can step high, squat, touch my toes and move freely in my own body!

2.  Calm your mind !–  Yoga helps teach us how to calm our monkey minds and sub sequently our entire nervous system.  This helps us in numerous ways from increase our digestive power, decreasing stress and disease related illness.

3.  Learn to listen, Avoid Burn Out & Injury!! – Often we hammer through life and get proficient at ignoring pain.  This however only leads to burn out or injury as far as I can tell.  Listening is key!!!

4.  Increase your strength and balance!!– This helps us in everything we do and prevents injuries as well.  Not to mention that we feel better afterward!

5.  Connect deeper to your own purpose!  – When get open up our hearts to growth and learning we get clear on our gifts and our path!

Most of us, that love yoga and make it a part of our everyday lives, get into it for a variety of  reasons yet may stick with it for totally different reasons.  It seems to infiltrate ones life enriching it in ways we could not have imagined.

When I first started yoga I think it was around 2004.  As a mountain guide I found that my shoulders were rounding forward from carrying heavy backpacks and climbing.  My low back did not have any mobility especially by the end of a summer season of running up and down peaks like Mt. Baker and Rainier in the Cascades.  My hips were solid and tight making sitting cross legged impossible. However I was strong and fit, and thought myself capable.  I went into my first class with gusto thinking I could do it all.  The instructor told me in that class that I needed to “relax my muscles before I could get any movement in my body”.  He gently encouraged me to relax and breath, and I began to hear an emphasis on the importance of listening to my body.  The physical challenge I was looking for was met, but something much deeper as well, which was this desire to listen to my body for once and not just run it down!  In my opinion, a skillful teacher is one who can keep me present in my body with good aligment and a bit of challenge, and also weave in deeper themes that stimulate my mind and soul to perhaps see things in a different way.  I got this in my classes and slowly over time found a much deeper meaning in my practice than just the physical aspects.  Learning to breath well, calm my central nervous system, and tame my busy mind a bit were a few of the things I was learning.

Have you ever noticed in life how the same lesson will present itself over and over again until we perhaps learn to behave differently?  Sometimes it seems it takes me 20 times before I learn a lesson.  I have come to see the obstacles as gifts (a yoga philosophy I picked up on) that help guide me in the direction that I need to go.

Here are a few stories and the lessons that have presented themselves to me over time.

Stories of Deep Learning from my life!


Story #1:

When I was in high school, I developed what doctors diagnosed as exercise induced asthma.  It presented itself like this:  whenever I would push myself in sports my throat would close up and I would not get enough oxygen.  So they tested my skin and said I was allergic to everything (cats, dogs, grass, dust, etc.) and I took inhalers a lot.  Funny enough it did not work.  Years later (I guess aproximately 15 yrs later) I blew my knee (the second ACL for me) which is another story, so I went to visit a friend at a healing center in California.  While at this place with massage, yoga, energy work, etc.  I was biking for my rehab, when I realized that if I keep my mind in a positive place, then I could keep my throat open.  I recognized that when my throat would close it was when I was trying to go hard and in my mind there was a record playing that said that I was not good enough.  I also recognized that I had been playing that tune since my dad died when I was 15 yr. old. Even though I had done a lot of forgiving and healing, I still had this underlying belief, and it was not serving me well.  So like I said, it took me a long time to figure this out, but better late than never.  It was my yoga practice that encouraged me to pay attention to my mind and the thoughts that pass through there.  I learned to observe them from a nonjudgmental place and ask myself how they serve me.  To reach my highest potential I wanted to align my body, mind and soul in the best way possible, and this meant identifying and letting go of limiting beliefs.  So I get on my bike and start to push my cardio, and concentrate on keeping a positive encouraging mind, and for the first time in years my throat stays open and I can breath well.  Brilliant!!  Yoga is more than just bending my body on the mat, it is something I take into my everyday life to embody so that my life becomes more vibrant.  This simple solution was never considered from any Dr. that tried to help me in high school.  They never asked me if I was stressed or what was going on in my life.  I began to understand that looking at the emotional side of things was essential to my physical wellbeing.


Story # 2:

In yoga one often hears about this concept of being present in the moment!  Easier said than done.  One quote I love says,

” If you stand with one foot in the past and one foot in the future, you are going to piss all over today” -unknown.

Yet our monkey minds love to lament on the past and worry about the future, making it difficult to just be here now.  I will tell this story about how not being present was not working for me.   I had a series of injuries starting in college and reoccuring at fairly even intervals.  I broke my neck diving into home playing softball while hitting my head on the catchers leg, I had several stress fracture injuries in my leg from basketball, I blew my left ACL, then my right ACL, amoung many other smaller injuries.  So after the second knee I decided I better examine what was going on in my head during these injuries or else I was going to keep wrecking myself.  What I realized was that I was usually worried about what other people thought about me.  In other words, I was trying to show off or prove myself in some way.  I had lost focus on the task at hand, and my busy mind was running wild.  I later learned to recognize my “ego”, you could say, and then I could let it go and focus on my breath and stay present in the moment more fully.  Just by recognizing my ego it would start to dissolve a bit and I could bring more clarity to my mind.  I don’t know exactly how I have come to learn all this from yoga, but somehow these ancient philosophies have started to seep into my everyday being.

Story #3

I knew yoga was getting into my bones when I was driving down the road and I would sit up a little taller and pull my shoulders back.  Or when I washing dishes and I stretched my low back to get its natural curve, and then hugged my belly in for support as my arms reach over the sink.  And when out on a ski tour I began thinking about the alignment of my knee over my ankle and paid attention not to let my knee collaspse to the inside.  The principles of body alignment I was learning in class started to make sense in every sport and activity in which I was involved.  Even in the middle of the night when I wake up and stroll to the bathroom, I realize I have a choice to slouch or stand up tall.  But it goes deeper, how about when I wake up in the night or in the morning and off jets my busy mind.  I recognized this one day and wondered how to settle such an overflow of non sense coming from this great helpful brain that often is in overdrive.  So I decided to replaced my thoughts in these moments with two words.  On the inhale “Greatest” and on the exhale “Love”.  I figured if I could train my brain to think about the “Greatest Love” perhaps my whole being would be happier and calmer.  I do this all the time now, and it works wonders for my monkey mind.

During my pregnancy, I found meditation and yoga to be so fun and helpful in many ways.  Not only does it feel great physically and mentally, but also it is a powerful way for me to connect with the beautiful being growing in my belly.  While pregnant I recognize how everything that I put into my body, every thought that I have, and every emotion I experience effect this little being directly.  We are naming our son Bodhi, and he and I make an effort to stay relaxed and calm, to breath well, and keep our bodies as healthy as possible.  It worked, throughout my pregnancy, and I was active and full of energy and happiness.

Tips for Prenatal Yoga

Check with your care provider to make sure yoga is safe for you if you have any conditions out of the ordinary present.  There are a few key things you should pay attention to when doing yoga while pregnant.

General Guidelines:

1.  Listen to your body! – It is your best teacher.

2.  Take as many breaks as you need, and drink lots of water!

3.  Stop if you feel breathless, hot, nausea, or dizziness.

4.  Use props – blocks, straps, bolster, blankets, chairs, the wall can all be helpful.

5. Avoid lying on your back after 20 weeks as this can compress your main artery, the vena cava, which runs behind the uterus.  Prop yourself up at least 20% incline or slightly elevate one hip to avoid the pressure.  Signs of this artery being compressed can be racing or pounding heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, and general discomfort.

6.  Move mindfully with smooth gentle transitions and make sure alignment is good as your joints are looser due to the relaxin hormone that helps your body open during pregnancy and delivery.

7.  Be aware that the body’s center of gravity shifts daily and balancing can be more challenging than normal.

8. Keep the breath full!

9.  Ease back on your practice in general, focus on building strength and easing into flexibility.  Try going 80% into flexibility to avoid straining muscles, joints, and connective tissues.

10.  Maintain awareness that the weight of the belly does not strain the lower back by gently hugging in at the belly drawing your baby toward your spine.

11. Avoid learning new advanced postures at this time, though if you have an ongoing practice you may continue to practice postures that feel good to you.  See guidelines below!

9.  Enjoy a meditation/breathing practice each day of 10 minutes or more to connect to your breath and body, to increase relaxation, and to bond with your baby.  This practice will help during your delivery as well.

Alignment and Practice Guidelines:

1.  Widen your stance – make room for your baby so you are not crushing your belly!  Lean to the inside of the leg when folding forward toward one leg.

2. Do Open Twist – Avoid closed twist, go the other way an open up the pose.  With a baby in your belly you do not want to do a deep twist in the lower abdomen.  You can twist the upper back.

3. Avoid Jumping in and out of poses!

4.  Be careful with deep lunges that can strain the ligaments on the front of the pelvis and destabilize the sacrum.  In Warroir 1 and 2, on the back leg, pull the top of the femur bone (the thigh) up so it is now collasping down and straining the front of the hip.  In Bridge pose pull the inner thighs toward the floor to avoid pressing the hips to far forward.

5.  Avoid lieing on the belly.  We do not want to compress the uterus and the baby!

Abdominal Exercies you can do!!

1.  Kegels or Pelvic Floor Exercises – These are important before pregnancy, during pregnanacy and forever after!  The muscle to isolate is the muscle that stops the flow of urination.  Strengthening this muscle will help during childbirth as a tone muscle can more easily relax and more quickly recover.  It will help prevent incontinance.  Here are a few different ways to exercise and strengthen this muscle.  These can be done anywhere and anytime.  Try while in child’s pose, while sitting on a block on the knees, and at other times during the day while in the car, etc.  Make trigger reminders to help you remember to do them such as everytime you pass a red light, etc.

  • Quick pulses
  • Contract and hold for 10-30 seconds
  • Elevator method (highly recommended) – imaging hugging in at the bottom and work your way up on a 4 count drawing higher and deeper, hold 4-10 seconds, slowly release from the top down on a 4 count like an elevator going up and down 4 floors.

2.  Static abs – These are very important do to before and after pregnancy.  Avoid any crunches ( super important after delivery as well).  When we are in are 3rd trimester the abdominus recti muscle that run the length of the abdomen down the center line over the belly button, have a tendancy to separate as our bellies expand.  They may also separate during delivery.  This is called diastasis recti.  The muscles can be drawn back together after delivery with proper exercises and avoiding crunching movements that push the muscles outward.  When sitting up it is important to roll to the side first like when you get out of bed.  Also, when you cough or sneeze hold in your abdominal muscles.

  • Sitting on your knees on a block or leaning against a wall with slightly bent knees, begin with a kegel and hold the energy in at the pelvis.
  • Then draw in the abdomen muscles from the bottom up and hold these as well for 10 seconds.  With your hands on your side rib cage draw the energy from the outside toward the center hugging in toward the midline.
  • Then do 10 small inward pulses.
  • Release and relax.
  • Repeat 3-10 repetitions working your way up.

3.  Sidecore Abs

  • Lie on one side, placing bottom hand in front of you pressing the palm into the floor, the other hand supports the head gently.
  • Lift both legs to engage your side abdominal (obliks).  Hold there and then pulse the legs up on small movements 10-30 times.  Release.
  • Bring both legs up again hold top leg up and pulse bottom leg in small movements up and down 10-30 times.  Release.
  • Bring both legs up and hold bottom leg steady as you pulse the top leg 10-3- times.  Release and switch sides.
  • Clam shell – bend both knees (still on side) and lift top knee toward the sky and then down toward the knee 10-30 times.

Pranayama to Avoid:


Bastrika after 5 months

Khumbhaka – breath retention, avoid holding the breath during pregnancy

Suggested Pranayama:

Deep belly breathing:

  • Sit or lie in a comfortable position with spine in good alignment.
  • Close your eyes, place hands on the belly
  • Breath into the belly expanding the abdomen as if expanding a balloon.  Long slow inhale.
  • Exhale at the same rate drawing the belly to the spine.
  • Think about abundance and love as you focus on the breath.

Ovarian Breath:

  • Gently start moving the breath in and out.  Let your energy flow up the spine on the inhale and down the front on the exhale.
  • Imagine your uterus is a golden bowl.  Let that bowl fill up with loving energy and draw that energy up your back to the crown of your head on the inhale.
  • On each exhale, let that golden light flow over your head, down into your heart area opening the heart, and back down into the belly.

Ujjayi breath- Ocean breath:  Use this during your yoga practice to help maintain a focus on the breath.  This will help you create a steady flow of breath and energy throughout your practice.

  • Inhale and exhale deeply through the mouth while constricting the back of the throat so the breath makes a sound like an ocean wave.
  • To initially obtain this breath, start with the mouth open and make a HAAHH sound as you exhale, and an AHHH sound on the inhale for 3-5 breaths.  Then close the mouth and breathing through the nose continue making the HA and AH sounds.  It is like a darth radar breath.  It does not need to be super intense, just enough that you can hear the breath.

Sleep Breath:

  • Inhale at your normal rate a deep breath.
  • On the Exhale slowly release so the exhale is longer than the inhale
  • Try to increase the length of the exhale to twice as long as the inhale.
  • This is a relaxing and calming breath to calm the central nervous system and can be used before sleeping at night.



Yoga Classes

Mountain Yoga in Sandy
9343 S 1300 E   Sandy, UT 84094
Saturday’s    12pm- 1:15pm    June 1st – July 27th
Tuesdays’s    2pm – 3:15pm    June 4th – July 30th
9 class package = $89    18 class package = $149
The Yoga Center  
4689 Holladay Blvd, Salt Lake City, UT 84117
Tuesdays     4:15-5:30pm      Beginnning on May 21st
First two classes are free as the studio is doing two weeks of free yoga on all classes!!!

Yoga in Salt Lake City!

I am here for the summer.  It will be the first ever spent in Utah after being based out of here for 18 years.  I am usually traveling and guiding around the world during the summer.   I have been sharing yoga on my mountain adventures with people for years, and I am now going to offer some consistent classes in town for the summer.   I am pregnant and having a baby boy

Prenatal Yoga is such a special way to connect with your baby and your inner strength.
Prenatal Yoga is such a special way to connect with your baby and your inner strength.

in August.  I am embracing the transformative time in my life and enjoying being home and becoming a part of my community here more.   I am going to teach yoga through July!  It is amazing to practice yoga at this time and it feels so good to stay fit and get centered in my practice while connecting to this living being in my belly.   I am excited to share my teaching with you all and I have some fun classes coming up for this summer.  I have listed here my prenatal classes and I will be adding some regular classes soon.