The reason we do asana or yoga poses…

I hope are having a great month so far!  Summer is upon us and the heat is rising! Next week is the Summer Solstice, when day and night are equal and the earth will sit in perfect balance. A yoga practice is designed to help us create balance in the ever changing tides of life.   In the Yoga Sutras of Patanajali, which is the manual for the philosophy of yoga and is comprised of 195 sutras, there are only 3 dedicated to asana (or the poses) and why and how they should be done.  It all comes down to Read the full article…

Immediacy

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy May! I hope your month is off to a great start. This week I found myself getting lost in all the things I have to do and feeling like I will never get caught up. Noticing my anxiousness around the overwhelm, I paused to take a few deep breaths and decided to focus on what I could do right now rather than than what I couldn’t get to. There is a principle in the Burning Man culture of immediacy that I have been incorporating into my daily life. How many times have you found yourself saying…”one day I will Read the full article…

Self-Care

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Hello and Happy April! I hope this email finds you thriving and enjoying the surging energy of spring! One of the greatest things we can do for ourselves in order to handle all the roles and responsibilities of our very demanding lives is to take care of ourselves….first. Some of us were taught that serving others first is the most important. We were taught it is righteous to sacrifice our time, energy, and sometimes even our own happiness in order to help or do for another. At least I was taught that. Now, don’t get me wrong. Helping others is Read the full article…

Yoga is a Practice of Action

Happy middle of the month! I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with love and laughter. I am behind on just about everything because things don’t always turn out as planned. And this is why practicing the art of surrender can be super helpful 🙂 Yoga is a practice of action. If we don’t like what are getting, then we have to do something different. We cannot just know, understand, or desire something in our mind. We have to actually do something about it. However, knowing what action to take can be a challenge. So we practice yoga Read the full article…

Awareness

Happy February! I hope you are having a great start to your year and if you set them, that your intentions, goals and/or resolutions are going well and bringing you greater health and happiness. When I first started yoga, I was pretty frustrated with how far I felt I had to go in my life with regards to where I wanted to be physically, emotionally, in my work, diet, relationships, behaviors, health, etc. I remember expressing this to a teacher and her saying to me that at first, the awareness alone is enough. She said to start by simply observing Read the full article…

Envision a Bright Future

I hope your month and year is off to a great start. I was talking to someone I met last weekend who was asking me questions about what feels like to me a previous life. It was a time when I knew deep down that I was a good person but for some reason my life and the people around me didn’t reflect the deep longing of my heart. I drank and smoked too much. I woke up with anxiety attacks on the regular. I wasn’t doing what I loved. I was surrounded by negative people who I didn’t trust. Read the full article…

Detachment

Happy New Year! I hope you had an amazing holiday doing things you love with people you love! It has been an interesting couple of weeks for me. First, my computer hard drive crashed and I lost a lot of data. I am hoping some of my information can be recovered but only time will tell. Thank goodness for my phone…that is until it was stolen…the day before I had to travel. It was so interesting to feel anger move into panic into frustration and finally, into complete surrender. All within a matter of 10 minutes. I have the Yoga Read the full article…

Sustained Focus

Happy December! I hope your month is off to a great start so far! The Yoga Sutras defines Yoga as the ability to direct the mind toward one chosen object (can be anything) and maintain that direction without distraction for a sustained amount of time. When we are in a state of Yoga (i.e. mind focused, therefore relaxed and settled), we experience our true nature. Ahhhh. When we are not in the state of Yoga (distracted and agitated), what we experience is the activities of our mind instead. Oh dear! With everything that is happening in the world right now, Read the full article…

Knowing vs Not Knowing

I hope you are having a great month so far. I was just having a conversation with someone about knowing vs not knowing and the confusion, pain and fear that can result when we are unsure about which way to go. We have so many roles, goals and responsibilities in our lives that we sometimes just go on autopilot and do all the things without really pausing to see if what we are doing is still true to our heart. Then maybe one day we wake up and see that the things we are doing no longer serve us and Read the full article…

Self Care First

I hope you are having a great month so far! I have been thinking a lot about why it is so easy to put ourselves last. So many people I talk to have a hard time with staying consistent in doing things for themselves, feeling guilty when they do or being able to saying no to others for their own needs. Myself included. We learn at a very young age that the way to show love or to be a good person is to do for others first and that being selfish or putting ourselves first is bad. We are Read the full article…

Dualities

I hope this newsletter finds you safe and surrounded by your loved ones. My heart aches at the state of our world right now. So much violence. So much pain. So much sadness. Then, in the midst of the heaviness of my heart and an overwhelming feeling of helplessness with tears burning my eyes, my 7 year old son and his 5 year buddy who is in town come cheerfully bounding out the door to say good morning and ask for breakfast. And such is the dualistic nature of this life. As I move through the polarities of daily life, Read the full article…

Yoga Gives Us Time

Happy middle of the month! “Yoga doesn’t take time, it gives time.” This quote by Ganga White is one that I find myself repeating on a regular basis when I think, ‘I don’t have time for yoga today.’ By doing yoga, I actually give myself more time to do the things I need to do. It is easy to get caught up in all of our roles and responsibilities and put our own needs and self-care on the back burner because we feel that we don’t have time. However, when we are empty and depleted, everything feels harder. When we Read the full article…

Surrender

I hope you are having a great month! This newsletter is coming out a week late because sometimes, regardless of our efforts, things just don’t work out the way we planned. Better late than never! The past week has been the ultimate in surrender and letting go for me. So many plans, so many intentions. So many upsets and so many disappointments. This is life. The real stuff. During all of the challenges, I had to continuously remind myself that the best way to handle the unexpected and allow the unfolding is through surrender. I am sure many of us Read the full article…

Take Steps Now to Avoid Future Discomfort

I hope you are having a great month so far. I am so happy to be back in Burbank and at the Blend! I was up super early yesterday for a full day of travel and was feeling grateful that I am able to be in Nashville with my family and still come to Burbank every few weeks to be with my Yoga Blend family. Although totally worth it, it can be really challenging to travel every few weeks. I will admit, it took me quite awhile to learn how to take care of myself in the process. Yoga Sutra Read the full article…

Atha

I hope your month is off to a great start! As I was thinking about what to write this morning, the word commitment kept coming to mind. If we want something that we don’t have it usually doesn’t just magically appear in our life simply by wishing for it. When it does, be grateful and celebrate because it is a rare thing indeed. What is usually required is a commitment and the ability to follow through with concrete action. The very first word of the Yoga Sutras is Atha which translates as Now and implies a commitment. Now begins my Read the full article…

Creating Habits

Happy Month of May!! One year ago, I committed to writing 3 pages a day…every day. And I did it! Every single day without fail, I wrote 3 pages. The concept is from the Artist’s Way which I did over 20 years ago and was going to go through it again last year but life happened so I decided to just write….every day. It’s called morning pages in the book and it’s simply stream of consciousness writing with no agenda. It has been such an incredible experience to set the pen to paper every single day, no matter how I Read the full article…

Take Steps Now

I hope you are having great month so far! I was talking with someone today about why, as a teacher, I am committed to being a student, first and foremost. There are many reasons, but the one I found at the forefront of our conversation was a yoga sutra that reminds us to take steps now to avoid future discomfort. So often, when things are going well it is easy to stop practicing yoga, doing our self-care routine, meditating, journaling, or whatever else it is that keeps us focused, calm and on track. However, the best time to dive deeper Read the full article…

Relationships

Happy April! I hope your month is off to a great start. I am currently typing this at 30,000 feet and am thinking about the practice of yoga as I always do when writing these newsletters 🙂 A teacher once told me that the best indicator of whether or not your yoga is working is to take a look at your relationships. If your relationships are getting better, clearer and more refined, then you can trust that your yoga is working. I will say, however, when I first started yoga over 22 years ago, my relationships got much worse before Read the full article…

Less is More

Happy middle of the month! The official start to Spring is coming up next week but it seems LA skipped Spring and just went straight to Summer. Yowza! Perfectly in line with spring cleaning, the renovations at Yoga Blend are complete. Thank you so much for your patience during the transition and for your encouraging words of love and support for our new look. It feels so good to have more light and space in the studio. It is amazing what accumulates over 12 years. Clearing the clutter was definitely a spiritual experience. Ha! I feel like we can all Read the full article…

Gratitude

I hope you are having a great month so far and find yourself surrounded by an abundance of things to be grateful for despite any challenges you may be facing. As humans, we live in a world of duality. Regardless if it is an ‘illusion’ or not, our human life is a constant play between seemingly opposing forces such as light and dark, hot and cold, effort and ease, etc. The practice of Yoga is about guiding us inward to align body, mind and spirit so we are better able to reconcile these extremes for a more sattvic (or balanced) Read the full article…

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are ready to start creating an amazing 2017. As we begin the new year, it is a great time to start envisioning what we want our year to look like and setting out a plan for taking action. Often times, the tendency at the start of a new year is to run out of the gates full speed ahead determined to make that change we have been wanting. However, right now we are still in the cold and dark of winter, so it’s best to move slowly and steadily. Read the full article…

Subtlety by Christy Marsden

I hope you are having an amazing month and taking care of yourself during this busy and unpredictable time of year! With all the travel and responsibilities of life, I have been consciously focusing on bringing more subtlety into my yoga practice and into my everyday life. For those of you who know me…don’t laugh! I know I can be full of energy, quite gregarious, rather loud and pretty clumsy at times but I am working on it. It is a practice for sure! I have always been the one to try my hardest to give the impossible and draining Read the full article…

Choose Your Focus by Christy Marsden

Happy December! I hope all is well with you and yours. With all the craziness in the world it is easy to get distracted from what is truly important. We can drift into frustration, anxiety, fear, anger or a host of other, not so pleasant emotions. In Yoga philosophy there is a sutra that I have been using in my practice to help me stay connected in body, breath and mind, YS 1.33. When we drift out of a state of yoga or union, this sutra offers a practical way to come back to center. It offers 4 simple ways Read the full article…

Finding Balance

Yoga Blend, Burbank, Christy Marsden

Happy June! As we head towards the heart of summer, my focus is to balance effort with ease (sthira/sukha). The goal of every yoga posture (or asana) is to embody these qualities at the same time. Of course this applies to the body but it also applies to the breath and to our state of mind. Too much effort in any of these areas can lead to rigidness and too much ease can lead to complacency. Just as with anything…it is all about finding balance. I have noticed that I tend to apply more effort than I do ease in Read the full article…

honesty & kindness

I hope you are having a great month so far. The past month I have been focusing on the discernment we gain from practicing the 8 limbs of Yoga. The first limb, the yamas, has 5 observances for dealing with our outer world or in other words, our relationships. The two that I have spent a lot of time on in my personal and professional work and still have to constantly cultivate in order to maintain balance is that of honesty (satya) and kindness (ahimsa). They are the very first limb of the 8 limbs, and the very first two Read the full article…