Pedal, Stretch, Breathe is Growing…You Can Help!

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Elly Blue and I officially launched the Kickstarter campaign for the second edition of Pedal, Stretch, Breathe last Thursday! You can watch the video and learn about what makes the second edition unique. Most importantly, you can donate!

In less than a year almost all of the copies of the First Edition of Pedal, Stretch, Breathe have been sold! As of the Pedaler’s Fair this past weekend my official count is 16 copies left, out of 2000 originally printed. I will keep those few for sale on my blog for one more week.

A major new section focuses on muscle groups–particularly those heavily used by cyclists in the quads and core. A section on seasonal influences and ayurvedic principles provides guidance on activity and eating throughout the year. The nine philosophical principles of yoga are applied to bicycling. Even more poses are described, targeting the specific muscle groups used when cycling. And finally, a glossary of basic yoga and bike terms provides a handy reference. Everything is presented in a way that’s accessible to absolute beginners and regular practitioners alike in either yoga or cycling.

Pedal, Stretch, Breathe is following the grand tradition of many publications, graduating from 44 page stapled form to a 96 page (!) book with a spine, more comprehensive content, new illustrations, and a sturdy matte cover so you can throw the book in your bike pannier and head off to the park for some stretching.

 

Bikes, Yoga and Women who love them: Radio Show Round-Up

I’ve had the pleasure to be a guest on three wonderful pod casts over the past few months. I was interviewed by women who had their own shows. It was interesting to see how yoga and bikes intersect in all of these different ways with different people around the country.    TOC_small_avatar-245568_461x271

My first interview was back in December with with Diane who hosts The Outspoken Cyclist in Cleavland. Diane also teaches yoga and owns a bike shop. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear from someone who found connections through biking and yoga in her own life. Her shows are very informative and fun. Her most recent show is a great listen too!

285>_6434757Earlier this year I had the chance to talk with Joni on Yoga Chat. Jodi’s show primarily covers yoga, with a focus on LA. She is also an avid bike rider and held a show about how bikes are a great tool to save the world! All the guests on the show had wonderful contributions! Jodi and I talked about how joyful navigating the city on a bike can be. We also discussed practicing short bursts of yoga and how nice that can make your body feel after a bike ride.

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Most recently, I had the chance to chat with April of Chicks on Bikes Radio for her episode on Bike Literature: Part 2, you can listen here!. Her co-host Adnan is a trainer who recommends yoga to many of the cyclists he works with. We had an interesting time chatting about yoga and biking. It was a fun conversation about Pedal, Stretch, Breathe and what is happening next in the world of yoga and bikes!

 

 

Free Mini-Workshop at Pedaler’s Fair April 20-21st

pedfair2013-01I am so excited to be participating in the Second Annual Pedaler’s Fair! Last year I announced the Kickstarter for Pedal, Stretch, Breathe.

This year I will be selling the last 40 copies of Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling, the first edition!

On both Saturday and Sunday I will be offering a free mini yoga workshop outside at 1-1:30pm!

We will practice establishing a warm-up routine for daily riding. You will also have the chance to learn how to use your bicycle as a prop for yoga poses.

In addition to the book, I will also have a bike yoga poster and cards with art work from the book for sale, as well as selling a few of Elly Blue’s books from Taking the Lane.

There will also be exciting announcements for Pedal, Stretch, Breathe…the second edition. You can also get the scoop on what is coming up for the rest of Spring.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speak Your Truth: Satya

Not to get all existential, but how do we know the truth?

We lie to ourselves all of the time, telling ourselves half truths and false stories. We insist that we are not strong enough to ride a bike all the way to work or that we will never be able to touch our toes. I would like to think that our personal truth, instead of being stationary, changes and evolves like our bodies do. Then low and behold a few days, weeks, months or years later we realize hey, I can do that. What I thought was true, that story I told myself for years, that was a lie.

We live in a car culture. That is a current truth. But we can look at history to remind ourselves that the world ran without cars. I’d like to think we can shift away from being so car oriented. I have come to realize that cars are not going to disappear completely. But as I bike on the road and create space for more folks to hop on their bikes and join me, we will transform our cities and towns. We are creating a bike movement that shifts us in a more sustainable direction. That is my truth.

There are all of these myths around biking, like that it is hard or that you need a lot specific gear. It is time to correct these myths and speak the truth. Particularly, your own personal truth. Tell people your story about riding on the roads. Give voice to your experiences. The more we speak up about the importance of health and happiness, the more we can change push forward a new truth.

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Guided 21 Day Spring Cleanse + Yoga

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Tell that Guilt Trip it’s Gotta Go!

Guilt is something I have been reading a lot about recently. On Jezebel I found this great article on how guilt disproportionately affects the psyches of women. You can see guilt manifest in all areas of life. Food is one area in particular where guilty feelings can seep in. Guilt can even find feminists with busted bikes as seen in Elly Blue’s post here. All of the articles really spoke to me. One of things I am constantly wrestling with is what “I should” do. What should I do to be good, a good feminist, a good daughter, etc…this creates a really long to do list.

guilt_woman-300x200When I am not doing something “I should be doing” suddenly guilt starts fill up my throat and my jaw clenches up. All the “should'” takes on a physical form. In your body it may take a slightly different shape, like shoulders creeping up or a deeply furrowed brow. The point is that we wear our emotions in our bodies. Thoughts shape the body and we begin to form particular habits. So the question is how do we break these patterns of guilt? Well the very first step is awareness. Catching yourself mid totally-unnecessary, “I’m sorry…” statement. Noticing the moments of self-judgement and coming back to neutral. You are just fine no matter what you had for breakfast. You are good a person if you made to yoga or not.

I am still very much in the middle of this whole feeling-guilty-for-no-good reason thing. But there are a few things that help me to feel better and carve out space for more important things.

Remember to  Breathe
Take inspiration from your breath. Your exhalation is the best tool you have to get rid of shit you don’t need. Take a big breath in and let out a big old sigh. Make whatever sound you need to. Lion’s breath is a particularly clearing breath. It is powerful, a little silly and very helpful. Take a big breath in through your nose and as you exhale stick out your tongue and let whatever sound come on out.

Story Medicine

My herbalism teacher taught me about story medicine. So much of guilt is woven into the stories we have about ourselves. To help get to the root of the situation, try writing about a time when you felt flooded with guilt. Set a timer and free write, with no sensor, for ten minutes. When the timer goes off stop writing and read what you wrote. Circle a few words that really jump out at you and again set the timer and write for ten minutes on your chosen word. Then again repeat circling words and unpacking the stories that surround them. You may unearth some of the hidden roots of guilt and you can illuminate them.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is often called, “sleep of the yogi.” It is a conscious meditative technique that leaves you feeling refreshed. I would recommend taking a class at a local yoga studio, if available. Or check out some of these free recordings to guide you through the practice. The second recording deals primarily with emotions, but I recommend doing them in order.

Do What You Want

An important lesson I am learning right now is say, “Yes” when you really want to agree to do something and, “No” when you do not want to take on another project or pick up that extra shift. Developing clear boundaries is proving an important step for me to feel less guilty. Saying “No” helps me avoid burnout and also means that when I say, “yes” that I actually care about what I am doing.

Please feel free to provide any of your own ways of working with guilt in the comments.

Ahimsa: Finding Kindness in a (sometimes) unkind world

You ever listen to the news? Sometimes sadness and grief can fill up my heart. I hear about local stories of violence and hear about the wars worldwide, or smaller, more personal pains. When I head to my yoga mat I am asked to listen to that grief and mourning for sadness. Instead of pretending that this violence does not exist and deny that it is there, I have to process it and sometimes that means shedding a tear or two. (For me that happens in deep held hip openers like Pigeon)

The very first Yama, the guiding principles for a yoga practice is Ahimsa, which translates to non-violence. We often hear about see violent interactions, we know what they look like. Non-violence, what does that look like? Maybe it is peaceful protestors, a la Gandhi or the more recent One Billion Rising, but we have to see non-violence more often than that. I have been keeping my eyes open for peaceful interactions and it turns out that non-violent action is hidden in small acts of kindness. A simple smile or genuine hug. A moment of consideration for someone else, a self-loving thought and kind words.

I’ve also been thinking about violence and vulnerability (read another great post on the topic here). For me some of the most violent encounters I have ever personally experienced have been on the road. Once I was turning left onto my street and a person in the car honked at me, which I found rather irritating and rude. So I flipped the person off. This infuriated the driver who decided to turn left and follow me and then cut me off by turning into a driveway to yell at me. A lot of very, very angry words were shared. And I eventually just walked away. I was totally shaken up. My neighbors and friends near by helped calm me down. It could have gone worse. Thankfully it didn’t.

The really weird thing about biking is you never know what you are going to get. You may be riding down the street and get a friendly honk from a friend in a car or see another bike riding buddy and stop and chat. Or you might all of a sudden be dealing with some really serious road rage.

We traverse these emotional encounters like we traverse the hills. It is part of the journey. If yoga has really taught me one thing: it is that to best deal with a situation you to be present, not reliving the past or planning the future. And if you want to access the present you need to focus on your breath.

One of things I am working on the road is deescalating situations, take it down a notch. Sometimes yelling back, which to be honest can sometimes be a visceral and gut reaction, does not always serve the situation best. Perhaps there is an element of forgiveness we all need to work on. We are human and we make mistakes on the road. I believe we will make fewer mistakes if we are present. We might even make more connections if we smile.

I’ll leave you with a little bell hooks to ponder.

For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?