In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 39

{photo credit: Etsy – click image for source – PS I would not be sad to have this in my classroom if anyone is feeling gifty}

I’ve found some links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.


My Best Of…

Can You Coccoon? The Challenge and Power of Taking a Rest from Amy Kessel. Gaining strength and inspiration from taking time away from the busyness of life to recharge your batteries.


Want to change a habit and aren’t sure where to start? Leo Babauta gives four steps here in Where In The World Do I Start?  


For some, summer break is starting to wind down and teachers are starting to think about the return to work. While I am not joining them this year because of my extended parental leave, I’ve still got teaching on the brain this time of year.

Lisa Dabbs from Teaching With Soul and the founder of the New Teacher Chat on Twitter has published an amazing list of teacher resources titled: Mentoring Monday An Article A Day…Might Just Save Your Teaching Life.

I can’t wait to dig into this list. Please check it out and leave me a comment on your favorite.


Are you or someone you know going through a break up? Not sure what to do or say? Divorce Field Guide: Best Advice from Mighty Girl has some gems. My favorite is number 3. So, so, so true.


Curvy Yoga’s Guide To Creating A Home Studio – a step-by-step guide for setting up a space and practice at home. A short, ridiculously helpful guide for getting on the mat at home.

Did you all know Anna is coming to Sacramento and specifically It’s All Yoga? I’m so excited!

CurveFest 2012 – October 13th – 1-6:30 pm


That is the In Case You Missed It Edition, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.

MadYoga Debuts: An Interview with Madeleine Lohman


Don’t you just love them?

I know I do.

There are those that inspire me and those that make me laugh. Some help me solve problems in my classroom and others that help me solve problems in my life.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite teachers here.

Teachers in studios, classrooms and in the world at large. These are the folks you will see featured in my new series of interviews here at Teacher Goes Back to School.

I hope you enjoy these teachers as much as I do!


I’m so excited for this month’s interview!

Have you met Madeleine yet?

Love her.

Madeleine Lohman is December’s Featured Teacher. She teaches Yoga Basics, Gentle and Level 1-2 yoga at It’s All Yoga and she is also part of the IAY Teacher Training faculty. Plus she does massage and private yoga sessions/parties.

Did I mention she also totally rocks?

When did you start practicing yoga? Why?

Sometime in the late-mid nineties, I returned to Seattle after going to school in Montreal. I had my degree in English Literature which naturally led me to work at a toy store. (The coolest toy store ever, Archie Mcphee, but that’s another story…)

I had free time and brain space on my hands, and needed something new to think about. My friend was taking classes at a community center, so I went along.

It was a beginner’s class, but an accelerated one intended for folks who were already “in shape.” I don’t know what led me to believe that described me. I’ll never forget the teacher kneeling beside me trying to encourage me to roll back into plough pose. All my efforts produced almost no movement, only grunting.

I do remember that I did my first handstand in that class. I actually cried out: “Jeezus!!!”

The teacher didn’t find it funny.

How has your yoga practice evolved over time?

It has definitely moved out of the realm of competition and into the realm of kindness. It took a long time. It’s still happening.

I mean, I was never going to be a super-power-vinyasa yogi, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t mistake yoga as just another way to “improve” my body.

Old habits die hard.

When you spend your teen years dieting and exercising in a punishing way, yoga can quite neatly fit into that regimen. Yoga can either change your bad habits or just give you another tool to cement them with.

Now, the asanas (poses) are a way to lavish attention on this body just as it is. And to make meditation, breathing, and just generally living a little easier.

How long have you been a yoga teacher?

Since 2003 or so. My first certification, ironically enough, was through “YogaFit.” They do trainings which take place over one weekend, which certainly opens them up to a lot of criticism in the yoga community.

And no, you can’t learn to be a yoga teacher in a weekend.

But it’s a very useful starting point for students like me, who were being nudged in the direction of teaching by a lot of sources, but were afraid of the full, Yoga Alliance approved, hundreds of hours type of commitment. It lets you know if you’re moving in the right direction.

And then I felt ready to jump in to the hundreds of hours of training I’ve done since then, knowing I liked what I was experiencing.

Truly, though, the only thing that prepares you for teaching is teaching.

Lots of it. As much as you can. Especially, when you’re starting out, offering your teaching freely to groups that might not ordinarily have access to the practice.

Do you have a home practice? What’s it like?

I believe if you don’t have a consistent home practice, you got nothing to teach.

My home practice finally started because it had to, it was a requirement of my second teacher training. There’s nothing like having to turn in a report that makes you get your practice in gear.

Since then, it’s faltered now and then, but for the most part, that’s how I teach, by making sure I practice and then teaching what I’ve found.

After confidently telling students for years that it’s more beneficial to have a shorter home practice that’s more frequent, I’ve completely changed my mind.

I do practice every morning, but by that I mean a sitting meditation and some very simple stretching.

In terms of the whiz-bang, full-on, get-down-on-it asana practice, I do that Monday/Wednesday/Friday, because I’m regimented like that. I discovered that shorter asana practices every day made me feel like I was reading a bunch of short stories, when what I wanted was to read a novel.

For me, taking a class definitely does not take the place of a home practice. Home practice is the work, class is the vacation. And as anyone who’s read my blog knows, I have a little trouble taking enough vacations.

Favorite pose?

Everyone gets a free pass or two in yoga, the poses and body parts that generally give you no complaints and are a lot of fun to wallow in. For me, that’s hips and hamstrings. So, give me a forward fold or a pigeon and I’m happy. The one pose I do every day, though, is downward dog.

Least favorite pose?

I’m not sure what you would call the opposite of your “free pass” – but for me it’s anything that requires upper body flexibility or strength. Chaturanga is the first that comes to mind, but any pose where you bind your arms (clasping hands together in a complicated way behind your torso) will find me cursing and looking for a strap.


If you’d like to learn more about Madeleine check out her new website and blog!

Stay tuned for Part 2 – MadYoga Goes Online!

Please leave any questions or comment love below – we’d love to hear from you.


November 2010: Alicia Herrera – 4th grade teacher/Textile Artist – Spirit House Designs.

October 2010: Ryan Fong – Teaching Assistant/PhD Candidate in English at UC Davis.

September 2010: Michelle Marlahan– Proprietress/Fairy Queen of It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, California.

You Are All Invited – Yoga Retreat!



I’ve never been on a “real” yoga retreat before, but that is all about to change.

A little history…. For my birthday this year I went away with some amazing yoga friends to a workshop on balance. In my head I kept referring to it as a retreat because we traveled to get there.


Not so much.

I did learn the difference between a workshop and a retreat though.

At a workshop you work: learn, practice, meditate.

At a retreat you retreat: you practice, but there is built-in downtime. 

I’m definitely in need of some serious downtime and since I’m still celebrating my birthday 3 months later, I wanted a real retreat – damn it.

The retreat this weekend is with my favorite teacher Michelle and a bunch of lovelies from It’s All Yoga.  For the next few days we’ll be calling this place home.

Why am I telling you all this?

It certainly isn’t to rub it in that I’m on retreat and you aren’t.

I’d like to invite you to join us for all or part of the retreat from home.

I’ll post the schedule below. Feel free to follow any or all parts of it.

So are you in?

The schedule will allow for individual or group activities with plenty of time to rest or play . {music to my ears!}

 Here’s the schedule


3:30pm              Arrive 

4:30-6pm          Opening Circle and Practice {if you want to practice with others, feel free to stop by the studio – it’s free at 4:30!}

6:30pm              Dinner 


6:30am              Optional Meditation 

7-8:30am           Breakfast 

9-11:30am         Pranayama (breathing), Asana (poses), Meditation (sitting)

12pm                 Lunch 

4-6pm                Pranayama (breathing), Asana (poses), Meditation (sitting)

6:30pm              Dinner 


6:30am              Optional Meditation 

7-8:30am           Breakfast 

9-11:30am         Pranayama (breathing), Asana (poses),  Meditation (sitting)

12pm                 Lunch 

4-6pm                Pranayama (breathing), Asana (poses), Meditation (sitting)

6:30pm              Dinner 

8:30 pm           Campfire


6:30am              Optional Meditation 

7-8am                Breakfast 

8:30-10:30am    Pranayama (breathing), Asana (poses), Meditation (sitting)

12pm                 Lunch  

Please leave me a comment  to tell me what part you decided to do and how it is going. Or tell me about your retreat experience. I’d love to hear from you!

Yoga+Music365 (day25) – Carried to Dust by Calexico

Three people in as many days have asked me where I find cool stuff on the internet.

My answer: Twitter

Don’t knock it until you try it.

That’s all I’m saying.

Today’s yoga brought to you by the home practice in Sacramento.

Today’s music – Carried to Dust by Calexico

Don’t forget FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online

NEW!!!! Mondays at 5:45 in February I’ll be teaching a Level 1/2 at It’s All Yoga – come join me.

Yoga+Music365 (day3) – In Our Nature by Jose Gonzalez

My inner teacher this morning would like to share some insights that came up during class today. Just a warning, not all insights are pleasant or very “yoga” like (whatever that means)…


Here’s a pet peeve… if you are new to a studio and need to fill out the new student form, wouldn’t it be a good idea to get to the studio a few minutes before class starts? I am just saying that your late arrival didn’t just inconvenience you. The people who planned and actually got to class on time all have to shift their mats to make room for you.

Not the end of the world, however in case you are wondering if that bugged anyone, it did.


Just yesterday I wondered who wears perfume because of all the advertisements I was choking on while trying to read a magazine. I thought, I don’t think I know a single person that wears perfume daily. I wonder if the perfume companies are hurting for money…. (don’t mock me for my stupid thoughts, you know you have them too).

Well, silly me. When you ask the universe a question, even a silly one like who still wears perfume – the universe feels compelled to answer it.

This morning’s yoga class gave me my answer. I found out that someone still wears perfume.


It didn’t hit me until I was coming up from a forward bend and my nose started dripping on my mat. Snot literally dripping out of my nose onto the mat. Fast! Like I can’t even catch it fast. Disgusting, I know. Imagine how I felt! As I rushed back to grab a tissue, I looked for the culprit and was unable to figure out who was offending my nostrils. 

The perfume in question was a lovely scent, however probably more appropriate anywhere in the world other than a hugely crowded beginning of the year yoga class.

No one is smelling like roses at the end of the class, so let’s not try to begin the class that way either.


Don’t think I am just bitching about others. 

Wasn’t it just the other day when I was talking about how I never left a yoga class feeling worse than when I went in?

Again, it’s like I was just tempting the universe to prove me wrong.

I kept looking at other people on their mats and comparing myself to them. I know this kind of thinking isn’t popular in yoga circles, but sometimes it just happens. Or at least it happens to me.

I was thinking why can they do that twisty around thingy when I am having trouble sitting this morning?

They even seem to be enjoying this ridiculous amount of flow… Hey wait a minute! We never do this much flow… why are we now?

I HATE FLOW! That’s it, I’m not doing any more….

My inner teacher spoke loudly to me today.  I think she reminded me that if I want to not bugged by tardiness, perfume and competition maybe I need to spend a bit more time in my kitchen being my own teacher.

Anyone else have any yoga class pet peeves?

Yoga+Music365 (day2) – Furr by Blitzen Trapper

I feel so very virtuous! I practiced yoga all by myself at home for 45 minutes and it didn’t feel like a chore, weird, lonely or anything else negative. I also didn’t feel awkward or fumble around for what to do next (all of which has happened in the past).

This is a huge deal for me because I’ve been so spoiled by finding such amazing teachers in Sacramento. It’s All Yoga has an embarrassment of riches in this way and by working the front desk, I get all the free yoga I can do.

But let’s be honest, sometimes classes don’t fit into your schedule or you just can’t be bothered to get all the way dressed or your hair just isn’t public ready and so you’ve got to do your own practice at home. Believe me, I know it sounds crazy and like a big hassle. And honestly when others do such a great job teaching why should I do it for myself?

Check out my post on starting a home practice to see my reasoning.

All that being said, not everyone knows where to start a home practice. Since I totally have been resisting doing one even though it was a requirement in my yoga teacher training, I figure I should share what is making it possible for me.

1. I’ve got some sequences written just for me by my yoga study buddy Erin. She rocks and is one of the people teaching free Fridays at 4:30 at It’s All Yoga, so if you are lucky enough to go when she’s teaching, she’ll love you up too. I’ll share her magic sequence from today.

2. I have a yoga mat that is so squishy and sticky and yummy it begs me to use it. Long story short, I’ve been test driving a Jade Harmony Professional mat over the last few months at the studio. The company is on Facebook and Twitter and they like to give stuff away. Jade sent me a teacher demo blemished mat in Sedona Red (and I was supposed to give it to my husband but,)  I love its blemish.  In fact, I think it’s little hiccup stripe makes it even more beautiful.

PS – I love social media and have won so much stuff on Facebook and Twitter that now I think of it as the magic universe.

Here’s the lovely sequence from Erin. Yes, we were talking menu metaphors when we were writing these =)


Start in CR (constructive rest) with lazy belly breaths, landing, arriving

Knees to chest arms out to a ‘t’ – lower knees to either side and bringing them back in with strong belly exhalation (3-5 times each side)

Back to CR, breathe

Opposite arm/leg extensions using breath (from Mary Paffard Belly Work Article)

*exhale as you extend right leg and left arm out straight, inhale extended, and exhale to bring the limbs back to CR (3-5 for each side)


Roll spine to come to Uttanasana

reverse swan dive up

exhale hands to heart

full breath cycle @ heart

inhale arms sweep back up, baby backbend

exhale Uttanasana

inhale flat back

exhale Uttanasana

step back into playful, squirmy Adho Mukha Svanasana


When you’re ready, right leg lunge

Virabhadrasana I and hold for some breaths (belly belly belly)

Clasp hands or strap behind back (shoulder opener)

Lower torso down to inside of thigh with arms clasped behind pointing toward ceiling

Hold for a couple breath cycles as comfy

Exhale upright, release arms and raise them back to Virabhadrasana I

(heart feel more open than first Virabhadrasana I?)


Flow: Plank, Chaturanga Dandasana, Cobra/up dog, Down Dog

Step to Uttanasana


REPEAT ENTRÉE on Left side

 Cheese Plate


To Belly with limbs fully extended, raising opposite Arm/Leg with inhales, releasing with exhales (4-5 times each side)  *Similar to how we started except on the belly.


Come onto back, knees to chest, gentle rolls

Figure 4 stretch w/ right leg on top

Figure 4 with twist (sole of right foot to floor on left side, looking right)

Repeat on Left and anything else you need/feel like doing before Savasana


Savasana (10 mins)