Monthly Archives: May 2020

Photography by Lululemon, Chelsea Abril.

HAPPY ALOHA FRIDAY,

You guys, I did a thing. Actually two. My mind has been percolating on goal setting over the last few weeks. While it is most definitely one thing to set the goals, it is quite another to go after them. We’ve heard this phrase again and again, but today, I asked myself the question: why am I playing small?

This question alone is a provocative one. Am I afraid of my own success? Do I feel undeserving of success? Why should I withhold my skills and knowledge? Don’t others deserve to live this beautiful practice? These questions were a transparent wake up call for me. Like a splash of cold water to your face in the morning, I feel READY. Because the answer to all of these questions was ‘oh my goodness, LM get started! And do not wait another moment.’

I realized, I have all of this knowledge to share! So much to share, and I want to share it! I am not quite sure what sparked this re-ignition to my goal setting and my lifestyle company as a whole, but it has already happened. All things in due time, right? This week, I have been churning out content for you.

The first announcement is that I will be hosting an online offering of my Goal Chaser Series. If you have completed the Goal Chaser Series once, twice, or three times before, I am still here for you! I would love for you to join again.

If you have never been through my Goal Chaser Series, it would be an honor to have you join. I think now, more than ever, as we navigate through this precarious time our goals become that much more important. As we strive to stay on our path of living our most authentic life, it is important to lean on each other while also holding each other accountable.

As I enter the fourth year of my PhD program, the uncertainty of my future come May 2021 has me all kinds of stressed out. For the first time in my three decades of life, the path forward is an unknown. It is simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. I think I have been carrying around subconscious stress related to this CHOICE. Goal setting and living authentically is all about choice.

Only recently, with a toothache of all things, has this question mark in my life become conscious. Do I have a toothache because of this stress? Is that a thing? Turns out, the stress didn’t cause my toothache, but it certainly did not help the situation. Nonetheless, this among other recent events have catapulted me back into this important life work, and I want to share it with you.

The choices we make now, dictate what follows. I am putting in the work now, to assuage my worries about my upcoming graduation. And there is some serious work to do. I want you onboard with me!

Two weeks ago at my Sunday morning yoga class, I shared the smallest piece of this goals work. It ignited my own fire. Since then, I have been on a personal mission to achieve and live in total alignment with my goals. From getting the right amount of R&R, to proper amounts of daily exercise, to work goals (I am getting published!), and beyond.

Goal setting and vision work is about structuring your life, and truly implementing the work moment to moment. Not by May 2021, but right now.

Every single time I share the goal chasers program, I learn something new. I learn about the world, the people around me, life, and most importantly myself. I realize how much it fills me up to see others reach their goals and live their purpose. And ironically, helping you is a part of my ever evolving purpose.

Because here is the thing about our goals, they change! Life is organic. We can’t predict every change in the tides, we need to live moment to moment. Which is why the majority of the goals work is about the present moment. It is about how you show up and live, right now. Hint hint, it might not be the same way you showed up two years ago.

I recently read a phrase in a book that deeply resonated with me, I will paraphrase: “if you’ve got it, share it.” What a wonderful life philosophy. I thought, how cool, my Sunday yoga class is doing this right now. We’ve got a sweet crew of students who show up to their mat and donate, and we’ve raised over $500 to benefit Aloha United Way’s COVID-19 community response and recovery fund.

Then I asked myself, what else do I have to share? I thought, I need to share my goal chaser series again. And as I mentioned, I got the sharing started at my Sunday yoga class two weeks ago. My next thought was, well I am scientist becoming an expert in anatomy and biomechanics, maybe I ought to share this knowledge with the world? And I will be.

I am thrilled to announce the upcoming Anatomy of Movement Training Series. This week, I have been recording lectures and content. The Anatomy of Movement Training Series is a hefty one, I will be covering A LOT in this training. It has been in the works for years, to be honest. Finally, the Summer 2020 timing is perfect to release this to the world.

I will be sending out a separate announcement for each of these offerings. This email is simply to announce these two happenings: I am hosting both an online Goal Chasers Series and an online Anatomy of Movement Training Series. ALL HAPPENING THIS SUMMER (double trouble)!

Yes, it might feel like an LM Summer Camp, but there will be plenty of other people to connect with and grow and learn alongside.

Here are the dates you need to know:
 
Goal Chasers Series (online):
 
Monday, June 15th, 5PM (HST)
Monday, June 22nd, 5PM (HST)
Monday, June 29th, 5PM (HST)
Monday, July 6th, 5PM (HST)

Anatomy of Movement Series (online):
 
Monday, July 13th, 5PM (HST)
Monday, July 20th, 5PM (HST)
Monday, July 27th, 5PM (HST)
Monday, August 3rd, 5PM (HST)

If you are interested in either of these offerings, please email me at info@lauramarylinsley.com!

I seriously cannot wait!
 
Goals, goals, goals,
LML

I know many of my yoga students are athletes, runners, avid walkers, soccer players, swimmers, tennis players, surfers, you name it! And others are non-athletes, but active people. All come to the yoga mat to find balance in their body and mind. This blog post is specifically about the former, balance in the body, which in my opinion, indirectly effects the balance of our mind.
 
Let’s entertain the example of a runner. You can run and run, but if you don’t cross-train, and work on your dynamic mobility, you will ‘run’ into some problems – pun intended. This piece to training is crucial. If you don’t work to maintain proper mobility, you won’t perform as well, you won’t feel as good, and ultimately you are at risk of an injury, if not already injured.
 
Adding in yoga to your weekly run workout regimen, is one way to restore balance to these muscles that have become imbalanced. The type of yoga that is particularly helpful for runners and athletes is vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa yoga is inherently dynamic, we are moving, breath-to-movement, aka breath to posture. The practice will help strengthen and lengthen muscles appropriately, in order to maintain or restore healthy range of motion (ROM).

If you’ve practiced vinyasa yoga before, you know that it can be challenging. One way we are often challenged on the mat is by holding postures (not for terribly long), but it does the job of effectively improving endurance of these muscles. Often times, the muscles that fatigue as we attempt to hold a pose, are those muscles that we need to target and improve strength and in some cases also length. Yes, a muscle can be both tight and weak.
 
The pose that comes to mind immediately for me, is half moon (ardha chandrasana) pictured at the very top. In this pose, we have to hold one leg and arm up in the air (against the force of gravity). The strength it takes to keep our leg lifted, falls to a gluteal muscle known as gluteus medius. When we contract the whole of this muscle, it will abduct the thigh (move it away from the ground, where it is being forced down by gravity).

How does this muscle impact a runner? Or even a walker for that matter?

Well when we have weakness in the gluteus medius, we can develop pelvic drop in the frontal plane, either ipsilaterally (on one side) or bilaterally (on both sides). Visualize the way a model walks down the runway. The model sasses her hips from side to side, this is what pelvic drop (pelvic tilt) in the frontal plane looks like!

One might say that models have weakness in their gluteus medius muscle. Although, I realize they do this walk intentionally, it is no good for functional movement. Particularly, if you are running, and thus adding more force to the movement. Depending on your running foot strike pattern, the vertical ground reaction forces experienced when running are roughly two to three times your body weight.

To a lesser degree, gluteus minimus (a muscle deep to gluteus medius) helps with keeping the pelvis level during movements. Often times as running duration or speed increase, any imbalances we have become more apparent. When gluteus medius and minimus are faced with the need to function under the demands of running, the runner might begin to have continual hip drop. This occurrence might be fine a few times. However, in all likelihood, they won’t be fine if this is felt for every step, over 30 minutes, five times a week, for a year - you get the point. Ultimately, this will stress the sacroiliac joint and the low back. A weak gluteus medius is oftentimes partly to blame for knee and ankle injuries too.

What I am saying is that, though these imbalances are often very subtle, they can become more pronounced and apparent with our athletic activity, and especially so with fatigue.

Yoga is a beautiful practice to maintain proper length and strength of various muscles, including gluteus medius. I have seen many a jock in class, who finds lifting their leg in half moon to be a significant challenge. What's neat about yoga, is that the practice quietly, and humbly, alerts and informs us of such imbalances. Yoga is a way of checking in with our body, like getting your oil changed. We need to check in a tune up car regularly, think of yoga as a weekly, or even daily, system tune up. 

There is one more thing. Yoga is not therapy. It is a practice of repetition. In physical therapy, for example, you might do three sets of 30 seconds of a particular stretch. You will then do this ‘exercise’ three times a day. Conversely, yoga is a neuromuscular training practice for life. So long as you show up to your mat, with dedication, these shifts are possible. It is not therapeutic. Though, mentally it feels this way, in the clinical meaning of the word, it is not. As yoga teachers, we should not be using the word therapy in a literal sense. 

As a yoga teacher, I am not prescribing, holding a stretch for 30 seconds, for three sets, three times a day. Leave that to the professionals who are targeting an imbalance for therapeutic intervention. In yoga, you are holistically, strengthening and lengthening, and neuromuscularly training the whole of your body. You need not worry about overdoing it on pose or stretch, because you are in and out rather quickly.

Here is the catch, one chaturanga with poor form won’t hurt you, but 1,000 may. You know your body best, so long as you are aligned well in your postures, and you can breathe fully, and there is no pain, you can trust in your practice.

The next time you show up to your mat, be an observer. What feels tight or restricted? What feels weak? Notice if one side of the body is significantly stronger and or tighter. If you have a mirror to practice in front of, pay attention to the subtleties of your postural alignment.

Here are some of my fave exercises to strengthen gluteus medius and minimus. You can work these into your yoga practice. 

1) Lie on one side, and abduct the top thigh, bringing your ankle up to about hip height, slowly lower it back down (Repeats x5-10)
2) Side Plank (vashistasana) with the option to abduct the top leg (3-5 breaths)
3) Half Moon (3-5 breaths)
4) Bridge Pose (3-5 breaths)
5) Personal fave add-in to yoga practice – lateral band walks. Place the stretch band just above your ankles or just above your knees. Come into a squat with feet hips width distance apart, maintain the distance between your feet, and laterally side step in your squat (down the length of your mat), then return to back to the top of the mat (Repeats x5-10).

Love and Gratitude,

Happy Aloha Friday Yogis,

My little brother has informed me that 'Yogis' should be capitalized and I quite agree. Well, here we are again at another Friday. The days do seem to truly blend together. Where now, in most cases, a weekday afternoon run is perfectly acceptable, as is a full work weekend. Because Saturday and Sunday, feel a whole lot like Monday through Friday. At least for me!

If you feel me on this, how about we make Sunday a bit extra special? Join me for Sunday yoga! Here is what we are going to get into on Sunday.

In addition to our regular/sweaty/soulful flow, we are going to switch things up (just a bit). Let's do a little bit of quarantine goal-setting, and a vision meditation, so that we can position ourselves to stay on track together as we work towards our goals. I've said it before, but how amazing would it be if we could emerge from this quarantine, evolved, better, more whole. Depending on what your goals are, you might be wanting to emerge from this period of life with the satisfaction of having been your child's Mom, teacher, therapist, best friend, their everything. Quite simply, your goal might be to read all of Jane Austen's novels (this is one of mine!).

Please bring a pen and paper to class on Sunday. If you want to write in a journal, that works too!

I felt a spark of inspiration today, to 'just do it.' Take a step towards that goal that is within reach, and you know it, but for whatever reason you keep putting it off. Go start it, the hard one, that somehow makes it to the end of the to-do list! It's hard to get started, but you got this. Once it's begun, the momentum will help carry you through. Take the step, and get going!

Join me for the Sunday Yoga Flow, (every week from 8-9:15am). Please email me for the link and password.

We have already donated $500 to Aloha United Way, let's keep it going! Make this your cannot miss weekly appointment, you deserve this time, to process the week, to connect and feel all the feels. And on Sunday, we are going to set some goals!

I hope to see you Sunday on the mat!

Big love,
LML

P.S. The 'Just Do It' theme of today's email, is totally separate from the fact that I would love to work at a company like Nike. However, as the theme emerged, it has now reinforced my connection to this company's mission and beliefs.

Photography by Aaron Mizushima.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”-Albert Einstein
 
Aloha yogis,

I would say this quote sums up why I’ve chosen the career of professional student,  I love learning. When it comes to changing our thinking though, there is no magic snap of the fingers to facilitate this and at times it’s not easy.

Like most things in life, it’s work and dedication, and checking ourselves, moment to moment, to see if we are living with intention. The other morning I wrote in my journal that I simply wanted to be intentional with my time. What a different type of day I had, by ironically, setting an intention to be intentional. It felt like I was being true to myself, in all ways. From getting work done, to doing the dishes, to running, and yoga - I chose these activities. I also chose my words and interactions with others and myself. I think this is piece that makes the challenging work doable, we won't resist it as much mentally and physically, if we check in on our own intentions, our why. 

 Why am I studying inverse dynamics and fluid dynamics? And why am I writing a paper on how software processing variation yields wildly different outcomes in knee adduction moment? Oh yes, because this fits my bigger why. And so, while a lot of my day to day work is ‘hard’ and might not come easy, no it’s plain tedious, by incrementally challenging my brain and self to think differently I am getting one step closer to my bigger goals. And in the process, through the grind, albeit with intention, expanding my mind and changing my thinking. Thus, changing the way I interact with and see the world. And by checking in and seeing the work for what it is, it is less intimidating.

I am no psychologist, but I did work in a psychiatric hospital, many moons ago. I also was an undergraduate psych major and I did research in cognition and neuroscience for my undergraduate thesis. Plus I read, a lot. And I've learned, and the research supports, that to name these feelings in our mind, 'that's fear, that's anger, that's anxiety' is to demystify them and render them less threatening. I think this concept of identification, holds true when it comes to components of our work and patterns in our thinking. We don't need to love the moment to moment, but it is important to connect the things we do with our time to a larger purpose, even if indirectly.

 Yoga has been the key to unlock a lot of these connections for me lately. It has been an absolute constant these days. Quarantine life lends itself very well to academic pursuits, less the data collections themselves. And I am finding this need to stop the brain grind work and let go, through yoga. There is a need as well to break the cycle of inactivity with a few yoga poses throughout the day. To connect mind and body, with soul and purpose, I find myself on the mat daily. Truthfully, I have not practiced yoga to this extent in a long time. Now, this daily connection is currently a must, I simply must schedule in a yoga practice. It has been a godsend.

Living with intention is a breath of fresh air and clarity, in a world that currently feels a mess and at times even scary. 

I feel I am expanding my mind and body over these strange months. Together on the yoga mat, we are all building mental and physical sweat equity, and I am excited to see what comes next, for all of us. It is one thing to be in quarantine bummed, sad, scared, or all of the above, but it is quite another to feel you are growing and learning from these moments in your life.

We are witnessing the once linear thinking patterns of the world as they are being stretched and pulled, torqued, and well you name it, it is happening. We have all been forced to expand our thinking to accommodate the odd circumstances at play, and we are doing it! We are making the most of it, but I think we should be really intentional with this time and try to grow and learn. If not about the world, certainly we can learn about ourselves.

It is tough in many ways. Even more reason, to take the time to connect, to hit pause, to step away from the laptop, and simply sit with yourself and breathe deeply. How do you feel? Meditate on it. Write it down. Be purposeful. Be intentional. 

 Join me tomorrow morning for the Sunday Yoga Flow, (every week from 8-9:15am) via the same link as every other week. Email me for the link and password. 

We have already donated $500 to Aloha United Way, let's keep it going! Make this a cannot miss weekly appointment, you deserve this time, to process the week, to connect and feel all the feels. 

I hope to see you tomorrow (Sunday) on the mat!

Big love,
LML