5 reasons why I’m excited to teach Yoga Tune Up®…


Last September, after 7 intense in-class days, a 7 page test, an essay (which is now on the Yoga Tune Up® blog), and a mountain of context grids and anatomy homework, I became a Licensed Yoga Tune Up® Practitioner.  Here I am a year later still stoked to be part of this community of movers and shakers. Here’s a few reasons why this is awesome for me, but more importantly, for my students:

1.  It’s eye-opening: As Yoga Tune Up® founder Jill Miller often says, this practice reveals our body’s “blind spots.” These might be areas where we are weak or restricted, but very often they are places that we just can’t quite feel. Being able to actually sense your body is one big step forward in learning how to appreciate your body.

2. It’s great for every body: How many practices do you know that are actually built upon fine tuning each pose for the individual practicing it? Take the seemingly simple Downward Dog. This a pose you might encounter 20 (million) times in a regular Vinyasa class as you flow from plank to high lunge to standing and back again. For some lucky people this might feel great, but for those of us with tight shoulders and hamstrings, it’s hardly a resting pose. Instead of treating Downward Dog as a mere linking pose, a Yoga Tune Up® class will break it down into manageable pieces that will deepen your strength and mobility. Or as one of my students said after class, “My shoulders are tired, but feel loose.” Tired – meaning she worked hard, but loose, meaning free and comfortable. And that’s ultimately my goal as a teacher – to get my students to work hard in a way that makes them feel great.

3. It’s seriously playful. Does your practice involve poses called “Propeller Arms” or “Dancing with Myself”? Do you get to “Body Surf” around the studio on a blanket? It’s not that I think that fun is better than serious, but I love how mixing the irreverent with the sacred making for some great learning and a great time.

4. It’s not just about yoga: Even though it’s called Yoga Tune Up®, the principles of this practice make it applicable to almost any movement modality. Good alignment is good alignment. I came to this training as a Pilates teacher with a so-so personal yoga practice, but I take what I learned in this training into every session and class that I teach – whether I’m teaching a private, a large group class, or even just myself.

5. The Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls: If you’ve heard about Yoga Tune Up® before this blog, you know why I’m saving the best for last. These grippy, pliable rubber pain erasers help you massage away layers of tightness and soreness from your own muscles and joints. It’s not just that the various sizes help target each area of the body so precisely that makes these balls amazing, it’s that they put your body care back into your own hands (or feet). Jill Miller put it best: “Self-care is the new health care.”


Curious to try out this practice for yourself, check out my current class schedule. See you on the mat!


Breathe in…bliss out: a Yoga Tune Up® Workshop

Date: Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Time: 1-3 pm

Cost: $45 (includes a set of Yoga Tune Up® Balls)



To all those who use their bodies (and their minds) too much or too little (or somehow both) come and join me at Satori Yoga Studio for an afternoon of self-care and restoration.

Starting at our feet, we will roll our way through all the micro-regions of our bodies with the Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls and unwind tension from our joints and tissues. Our full-body ‘rolling’ session will be completed with a guided breathing meditation which will allow you to experience a state of deep, conscious relaxation. You will leave feeling refreshed in body, mind and spirit.

No Yoga or rolling experience necessary. Students of all levels are welcome!

Sign up online at www.satoriyogastudio.com/workshops or call 415.618.0418.

Yoga Tune Up® and the Triangle Booty

I’ve just finished Day 2 of my YTU Level 1 Certification course and my booty and I are grateful.

Today’s Master Class focused on preparing our bodies to perfect our Triangle – in both Classic and Twisted flavors ;)

We started with a serious “come to Jesus” conversation with our piriformis, gluteus medius, IT bands, and vasti lateralis muscles, among others, via the small, but mighty, Yoga Tune Up® Massage Balls.

Then came some side body strengthening and stretching – finally feeling my QL in a good way.

Followed by all manner of hip range of motion from abduction to rotation to extension to circumduction. Every movement providing us with a greater level of strength and flexibility .

Bottom line: my booty felt more supple, toned, and balanced than it has in a long time. And it’s probably going to be a little sore tomorrow:)

Pilates and Personal Responsibility

“An exercise does not jump out of a box and bite you in the ass.”

~ Lizz Roman (SF-based, Pilates mentor/teacher extraordinaire)

Not sure if I worded it exactly as she did, but Lizz Roman’s voice is what I try to invoke in those moments when I try to justify not doing certain exercises because “they are too hard” or because “they hurt me.”

Don’t worry, this is not a “no-pain, no-gain” apologetics diatribe, but merely owning up to the fact that I can’t blame the exercise for the pain. Because, in fact, that Teaser did not jump out of  a box and bite me in the ass hip flexors. Even if it felt like it did.

So, where does that leave me? It is my fault that I (often) hate doing Teasers? Am I to blame for having over-active quads? I mean, after all I am a Certified Pilates Instructor. Shouldn’t I have mastered this quintessential Pilates exercise? (If your not sure what a Teaser is, check out this video;)

That’s one way of looking at it.

But, it’s certainly not going to make my hips feel any better in a Teaser.

Thankfully, there is another way.

It is not my fault, but rather my responsibility. Responseability. My ability to respond. To listen to my body, and gauge where I need more control and where I need to let go.  Back to an innate and effortless way of moving. To scale back to the most fundamental level and gradually, gracefully move forward.


p.s. This post was in large part inspired by the wise and supremely generous Rebecca Leone and her amazing Vimeo channel! I haven’t studied with her in person yet, but I hope to soon.

p.p.s. I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave your comments below.

Injuries and egos, or how I learned to back off without giving up.

It was about 5 chaturangas in. Even though it was early in class my triceps were already screaming. Lately, I’ve been able to hold this pose nice and low and strong. Thursday was an exception and my while my body was trying to tell me, I refused to heed. I was taking my plank to the floor when I felt fiery twinge in my right shoulder. It happened fast, but I knew immediately that I had gone a bit too far and my posterior deltoid was paying the price. Continue reading