Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Desk Yoga Tips

Desk Yoga Tips from Yoga Bridge

Yoga Bridge has been asked to speak at the next Healthy U event, sponsored by the Medical Center at Lewisville on September 11.  Here are some of the poses that we'll be sharing with the crowd.
Standing Cat/Cow  Stand behind chair with feet hip distance apart.  Place hands on back of the chair.  Take a few breaths through the nose, standing tall.  Inhaling, lift the chest.  Exhale, round through the mid and upper back, tuck the chin, tuck the tailbone.  Inhale, lengthen the spine, reach forward through the chest, look forward.  Repeat several times.  Releases tension.

Standing Twist Flow – Feet hip distance , knees softly bent.  Begin slow twisting movement.  Arms flow into the twist, tapping the body as they land.  Can speed up.  Head can follow the movement of the twist. 1-2 min.  Releases stagnation, energizing.

Standing Camel -  Feet hip distance apart.  Reach arms out, shoulder-height, thumbs face down, palms reach behind, press arms back.  Option to place fists at sacrum (low down the back).  Press the hips forward very slightly as you lift your chest open and up.  Reach your elbows back and towards each other.  15-30 seconds.  Can repeat.  Energizing, mood boosting.

Strong Goddess Stance – Step feet apart wider than hips, toes pointing out at angle.  Keeping the spine vertical, knees bent, begin to bend the knees out to the side.  Arms reach out to the sides, shoulder-height.  Bend elbows, hands up.  Hold this stance for several breaths. Release.  Repeat if desired.  Energizing, strengthening.

Standing Forward Fold - Stand behind chair with feet hip distance, hands on the back of the chair.  Walk  feet back and relax head between arms.  Can also do this with elbows on the back of the chair.  Hold for several breaths.  Rise.  Soothing, calming.

~Yoga Bridge™  is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that offers free and low-cost yoga programs to all people affected by cancer.  Students are part of a nurturing community where they find relief from fatigue, muscle weakness, and stress.    
www.yogabridge.org  Lewisville, Flower Mound, Denton

Monday, October 22, 2012

Yoga Help for Shoulder Injuries

I've been doing a little research on how yoga can help heal shoulder injuries (I've had issues with mine before). Here are some great sites that I've found:


Most sites seem to recommend seeing a doctor if your pain has gone on for several weeks.

These next links are from a yoga anatomy teacher that I love - Julie Gudmestad. I studied with her in Colorado a few weeks ago. Great articles:

Hope these help shed some light.
I'm Susan Reeves, E-RYT 500. I offer yoga classes in Highland Village, Flower Mound, and Lewisville areas. Please sign up in the right-hand column for e-mail updates on yoga articles, current classes and workshops. 

I'm one of the co-founders of Yoga Bridge. Yoga Bridge is a non-profit that addresses the needs of people in any stage of cancer diagnosis/ recovery through the healing practice of yoga in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Malas for Charity in September - Where the Money Goes

Buy a Mala, Help a Cause

Every September since 2008, Moondog Treasures has been donating 54% of the sales of all mala bracelets to charity in honor of The Global Mala, a world-wide yoga event that goes on across the world in late September and raises money for charity

Where the money has gone

2008 Trees for the Future
2009 Yoga-Recess in Schools
2010 Gayla's favorite charity to help kids in Peru
2011 American Brain Tumor Association

The first couple of years, I donated to the charities that www.globalmala.org supported. The next couple of years, it got personal.

In 2010, my dear friend/co-worker/pregnant-at-the-same-time-as-me sister, Gayla, lost her battle with liposarcoma, a very rare form of cancer. She spent her last year volunteering in Peru. My money went there.

Last year my sister's husband was diagnosed with brain cancer. He lost his battle 8 months later. My money went to fund research for brain tumors.

Where the money goes this year

This year is full of hope. 54% of the sales of all mala bracelets from my shop will be donated to an effort that I am personally involved in - Yoga Bridge. Yoga Bridge offers free support for cancer survivors through the practice of yoga, breathwork and meditation. 


A colleague and I co-founded this organization last August and have been working at it ever since. We co-teach a free Breast Cancer Yoga class weekly at a local hospital, thanks to the support of Foundation 56. We also run a program of classes and workshops where part of the money collected goes back into a fund to keep the cancer yoga classes free.

54% of all mala bracelets purchased during the week of September 7-14 this year will help pay for free yoga classes for cancer survivors and buy props that we will use in class.

How did this all begin?

I donate in honor of my friends, and in honor of the Global Mala. My yoga teacher, Shiva Rea, is the original coordinator of this event. I've gone to California many times to study yoga with her, so this event is very close to my heart.

Click on the pictures below to see more malas (for women and men) from my store or to purchase a mala bracelet.

Malas for Women
Malas for Men

Thank you
A sincere thank you to all who have purchased malas throughout the years and have helped all of these wonderful causes.
I'm Susan Reeves, E-RYT 500. I offer yoga classes in Highland Village, Flower Mound, and Lewisville areas. Please click here to sign up for e-mail updates on yoga articles, current classes and workshops.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

DFW Free Day of Yoga

Highland Village Yoga will be celebrating Yoga Month by offering a Free yoga class on September 3rd. 

Here's some information about it:

Highland Village Yoga
2225 Highland Village Road
Highland Village, TX 75077

Class Title: Hatha + Restorative Blend
Skill Level: All
Start time: 9:00 a.m.
End time: 10:15 a.m.
What to Bring: Yoga mat

Summary: Join us for an enlivening practice of classical hatha yoga, then stay and receive the soothing benefits of a restorative practice. Qualified, experienced E-RYT 500 instructors will lead you through a non-competitive, friendly-on-the-body practice.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Yoga, Cancer, and MD Anderson

I am a yoga teacher. Many of my students have cancer and are survivors of cancer.

Last month I attended an ocology training at MD Anderson in Houston. I'm not a doctor, and this wasn't an actual medical conference. It was the 4th Annual Oncology Training for Yoga Teachers. 

The major presenters are some of the giants in the research of the benefits of yoga asana, pranayama and meditation for patients undergoing treatment for cancer. Alejandro Chaoul, PhD, Lorenzo Cohen, PhD, and Dr. Richard T. Lee, MD are among several doctors and scientists in the Integrative Medicine arena who have been involved in recent clinical studies about yoga and cancer.

Their findings have been published in medical journals and within the yoga community around the world. Here is a summary of what they are discovering based upon their current research:

1) Chronic stress shortens the telomeres in cells and causes aging, leaving the cells susceptible to a host of conditions and diseases, especially cancer.

2) MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) techniques, such as yoga asana, breathwork, and meditation, help mood, depression, anger, sleep quality, and fatigue.

3) Secondary Lymphedema (a result of the removal of lymph nodes during surgery) can be relieved through movement, isometric exercises, and breathwork - [the major components of a yoga practice, my observation].

I'll be expanding on these studies in future writings, along with other topics including guidelines for safety, communication with medical staff, laughter yoga, teacher ethics, yoga postures and breathing techniques, meditation techniques, and the Indian model for cancer care.

For now, I'll leave you with these quotes from two of the presenters:

Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, PhD, Professor and Program Director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson: "Cancer patients need yoga more than any person on this planet."

Dr. Ki Shin, MD, Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, says "We'll all be doing yoga in the future".

I'm Susan Reeves, E-RYT 500. I offer yoga classes in Highland Village, Flower Mound, and Lewisville areas. Please sign up in the right-hand column for e-mail updates on yoga articles, current classes and workshops.  

I'm one of the co-founders of Yoga Bridge. Yoga Bridge addresses the needs of people in any stage of cancer diagnosis/ recovery through the healing practice of yoga in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What is a Mantra?

Om.  What is a mantra?  In the yoga classes that I teach, I usually define it as a meaningful sound, word, or phrase that, when repeated, can bring about a sense of devotion, calmness, and peace.  Throughout the past few years, I have had various meaningful mantras. 

"Love from a distance".
When one of my children goes through a difficult time, this is my mantra.  As a mother, my first instinct is to run in and rescue. However, I realize that in order for my children to grow and mature, I need to step back and let them solve some of their own problems.  This one is tough. The mantra helps.

"Drop everything and go".  I've lost several friends and a close relative to cancer in the past two years.  It has been a sad time.  Instead of focusing on the past, this mantra has helped me to focus on the present. 

These people gave me a gift - the realization that life is precious, and so very short.  Because of their untimely passing, I'm all the more aware of the importance of family and friendships. 

When my son asks me to join him for lunch at his school, I can think of several things I'd rather be doing than eating a happy meal in a noisy cafeteria.  Then I remember this mantra.  He won't be my sweet little guy who wants to spend time with his mom forever.  Drop it.  Go.

"Stand up".  This is my current mantra. In the yoga world where my career resides, I've noticed so many changes.  It seems to have become a world where superficiality reigns over substance. This is not the yoga I signed up for.

So what is?  A yoga that brings peace of mind and has integrity of purpose.  A yoga where people can learn at their own pace and feel good about themselves.  A yoga where people don't feel that they have to dress a certain way, look a certain way, pose a certain way.

So, here is where I landed.  A little gym in a little suburb.  And a hospital where women who are surviving cancer can come and practice their yoga among a system of support and non-judgment.

Here is where I stand up.  Here is where I find meaning.  Many have questioned my decision to leave the studio world of yoga.  This mantra reminds me that I am doing the right thing.