Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Let's Get Inspired

I called my latest newsletter the GOOD NEWSletter to highlight a few things that have inspired me recently.  
If you did not receive it, just click here and put Newsletter in the subject line.  Then prepare to be inspired!

Here is a bonus video that I did not include in the newsletter...

There Is Still Time 
is about a Brazilian social experiment involving parents and their children.  Among other things it illustrates how we can become cynical about the future when we intellectualize.  
When we personalize, however, our hearts open, and perhaps our vision of what is possible expands along with it. 

Just click here to view the video. 
It is best viewed full screen so subtitles can be easily read. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

When Women Awaken, Mountains Move

A W A K E N   A W A K E N   A W A K E N   A W A K E N

When Women Awaken, Mountains Move Chinese Proverb

Nadi  Sodhana or Alternate Nostril Breath is a great way to start to open your central channel.  We’ll be practicing this during the Women’s Workshop, Cultivating Your Intuition, Creativity and Yoga Practice, before our gentle/active morning yoga sessions to enhance connection to our intuition.
Try this in conjunction with yoga, meditation or anytime during the day when you want to ground, tap into your reserves of balanced energy, and go inward.

Give It A Go...

1. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Do this to the count of four seconds.
2. Now close the left nostril with your right ring finger, and at the same time remove your thumb from the right nostril.  Exhale through this nostril.      Do this to the count of eight seconds. This completes a half round.

3. Now Inhale through the right nostril to the count of four secondsClose the right nostril with your right thumb, and exhale through the left nostril to the count of eight seconds. This completes one full round.

Start by doing three rounds, adding one per week up to seven rounds.
Alternate nostril breathing should not be practiced if you have a cold or if your nasal passages are blocked in any way. Forced breathing through the nose may lead to complications. In pranayama it is important to follow this rule: under no circumstances should anything be forced. If you use the nostrils for breath control they must be unobstructed. If they are not, you must practice throat breathing.

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click here and put newsletter in the subject line.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Yoga and Intuition

I don’t think most of us would answer “the brain” when asked where intuition dwells.  We would likely place a hand on our heart, our solar plexus, or our belly to indicate that instinct is about a body connection.

As women we are strongly connected to the body through our monthly cycle, childbirth, our primal tend/befriend instincts, and later through the transformation of menopause. 

Interestingly enough we are also encouraged to be more disconnected from our bodies through media messages, and the urging of our culture to compare ourselves to each other and to societal stereotypes. 

We see this shift in young girls.  Up to around 9 years of age we will typically experience and express ourselves openly through the body.  As we near puberty and beyond we will more often modify our impressions/expressions of ourselves (and our bodies) based upon how we think others will perceive us. 

With the addition of this filter our experience of ourselves shifts away from feeling/acting (a body model) to thinking/comparing (a brain model).

Taking ourselves to the next upgrade our health, career, relationships or sense of self…requires that we work to reverse the mind/body split.  By integrating our analytical intelligence AND the deep aptitude of our physical selves (that I call body wit) we really have the opportunity to be quite powerful.

Another word for this body wisdom is INTUITION.  Whether you believe that our intuition is generated internally or externally, as I mentioned earlier we sense that the receptor and repository of this intuitive information lies in the flesh.

The link between yoga and intuition is fairly simple. Yoga, or more specifically slow yogic breathing, allows us to quiet the mind as we awaken the body through a sequence of postures. 

I emphasize the slowing down of the breath because it’s ability to quiet the chattering brain…during our yoga practice or at any time…is pivotal to receiving information from the deep intelligence of the body while still keeping the brain engaged.

They say that the average person is 7 heads tall.  That’s a great visual to have as we consider how we usually go about solving problems.  Perhaps it will help us consider enlisting our entire being to craft the health, career or life that we really want.

When we cultivate our yoga practice we cultivate our intuitive connection.  When we cultivate our intuitive connection we start making better decisions.  
Become your own best advisor!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Third Annual Women's Workshop on The Cape

Your Innate Capacity to Prosper and Grow
As promised details about our third annual fall women's workshop has now been sent out in my June/July newsletter.  It may seem a bit early to plan for October, but last year we received many requests to get the word out here you are!

Our timing and format is a bit different this year as we take the Columbus Day weekend (Friday evening, October 11th through Monday morning, October 14th) to work and play with connecting and trusting our instinctive, intuitive selves.

If you aren't on my mailing list to receive the newsletter, just click here and it will be in your inbox shortly.  l
Trust your gut!
Nancy               Yoga Gal Illustration by Cheryl Warrick

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I often discover something I never realized I had when doing my spring cleaning...

I remember when I was in art school the constant refrain was, "There are no answers, only better questions".  Here are a few that might help you rediscover what you really came here to do...just another form of spring cleaning:

 1. What does your self judgement have to do with your reason for being?

 2. How many hours per week do you devote to self discovery? 

 3. What activities allow you to lose track of time, feel joy, give you energy?

I have come to believe that our reason for being is not static, but rather evolves with us as we cultivate new insights, talents and opportunities.  Periodically taking the time to evaluate what gives our lives purpose is essential, so I encourage you to wake up to who you are NOW as the rest of nature does the same.  

You will find three Restorative Yoga poses on the Instruction page above.  These can help you quiet down and listen to yourself, while offering the challenge of something new for your spring yoga practice.  If these postures aren't for you, then take a walk on the beach, lay in your hammock or just remove yourself from your routine for a day and discover what's new in you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Want to feel more healthy, energetic, relaxed 
and vibrant in 2013?

Join us Tuesday, February 5th and/or
Wednesday, February 6th at the Capital City Club
in Brookhaven for a Mini Retreat.

Anne Namnoum and I will be in Atlanta next month for two  dynamic workshops that will combine science, yoga, psychology (and a healthy meal) to help you refresh and reboot as you head into the New Year.

The Tuesday workshop will begin with a session of active but gentle yoga.  (No prior yoga experience is necessary, and modifications will be given for different levels.)  After a nourishing brunch, Anne will cover the latest science about how stress affects your brain, body, belly and even DNA.  We will help you identify your individual stress response so that you can determine which lifestyle modifications and stress-reducing practices are most likely to soothe and revive you, and help you balance your nervous system and hormones.

Nancy will give an overview of yoga's role in reducing stress and improving mental and physical health, and will teach specific Restorative Yoga poses that are suited to your individual nervous system.  The day will end with a session of Restorative Yoga where you can practice different poses that can be used at home to help manage stress, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

The Wednesday workshop will take the information from Tuesday to the next level, and will explore how stress and fear can keep us "stuck" and can also contribute to hormonal imbalance and menopausal symptoms.  It will include a session of active yoga, and a longer session of Restorative Yoga with more customization of poses.

Nancy will show how restorative practices can help us develop calm, clarity, and courage to make positive changes in our mental and physical health.  Anne will discuss natural approaches to hormonal balance as well as the latest science on hormone therapy, so you can weigh the risks and benefits of hormone therapy depending on your individual situation.

Join us for one or both days!
There is a discount if you bring a friend 
or if you attend both days.

Tuesday, February 5th, 9a-2p at The Capital City Club, Atlanta
Single Day Rate:  $175
Bring-A-Friend Rate:  $160 each
Attend Both Workshops:  $350 total

Wednesday, February 6th, 9:30a-3:30p at The Capital City Club, Atlanta
Single Day Rate:  $210
Bring-A-Friend Rate:  $190 each
Attend Both Workshops:  $350 total

To register click on the pull down menu at right!

For answers to some frequently asked questions, 
just click on Anne's site at 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One Month Later...Now The Ride Begins

It's been about one month since our Fall Women's Workshop, a good time to check in and see how we are feeling as compared to one short (long?) month ago.  

Remember that delicious high that came from four days of consciously caring for ourselves, and from daring to step outside our well worn path to try something new. 

Perhaps it even involved excavating, naming and dancing with some old fear that has kept us solemnly in the third row.   

Hell, even if you didn't attend the workshop, you have certainly experienced an exhilarating, life changing moment that left you feeling like you had risen to  the next level of you, right?

Over time, however, the luster can fade from these moments of insight and change.  So how do we maintain that forward motion?  

Well how did you get to that next level in the first place?  

In terms of the workshop experience, it involved these key elements...

  • Investing your time/money to be with yourself, not to buy some object for yourself
  • Giving yourself structure and time to practice heart-opening yoga
  • Activating your breath and using it to shift and clear the way for new beginnings
  • Spending time in restorative yoga to let the deep visceral body release and renew
  • Sharing what you discovered with your waking self, and someone else you trust
  • Clearly looking at something you have been afraid of or avoiding
  • Making time for meditation and using it to dance with that fear
  • Softening so you can move in and out of fear instead of letting it stop you
  • Learning something new about how your body and mind work
  • Changing old patterns in your eating, thinking, working, playing, trusting self
  • Getting the support and information you need when you need it...don't wait
So maybe one month out you are humming right along, or maybe you have been doing a little screaming when your new found strength seems to disappear like the roller coaster tracks at the top of a turn.  

When and if that happens just refer to this list above, and try to re-engage with one or two (or more!) of these practices that have the ability to help you reconnect with your power source.  

You see the good news is that these practices will always work, but not unless we work them.

As the saying goes, when you hit a bump you can either scream or throw your hands up and enjoy the ride.  

Now my suggestion is that when your arms go up you also bend your front knee, lean into the outside of your back foot, elongate your spine, and make it a Warrior I pose.

Screaming is optional.

I know none of you need to be reminded of this, but I keep the following list I found years ago in some magazine tacked up in front of my desk.  It helps keep me patient, talks back to my perfectionism, and often gives me comfort when I feel I should "be there by now"...wherever there is.
  • Permanent change rarely happens instantly.
  • It’s not about getting it perfect, it’s about continuing to imperfectly move forward.
  • Change is not a one shot deal. 
  • Maintenance is not something that happens automatically (see list above ;-)
  • Maintenance is the stage where the hard work can pay off, or start to unravel.
  • Anticipating the bumps can make it easier not to get thrown.
So enjoy the ride, and be in touch if I can provide any of that support and/or information that I mention above.