Monthly Archives: April 2018

A Breath Practice for Insomnia

Hi everyone!  I’m feeling uninspired this week, so I decided to re-post about this simple breath practice for insomnia.  Enjoy!

It is amazing to me how difficult it is for people to get a good night’s sleep. I personally have suffered from chronic insomnia since I was a teenager, and have been impressed with yoga’s ability to help. Although, when people typically think of yoga they envision postures and movements, some of yoga’s most powerful tools don’t involve movement at all. One such tool is called pranayama, and it works specifically on the energy system in the body.

The word pranayama is derived from the words prana and ayama.

Prana means life force energy, which is a concept we don’t really have in the West. It’s the energy that animates us and gives us life. When we have it, we are alive. When it is gone, we die. It is also the energy of healing, and is very similar to the concept of “Chi” in Chinese medicine. Prana already exists within each of us, but it is mobilized by the breath.

Ayama means to lengthen. So the practice of pranayama is literally the practice of lengthening life force energy by extending the breath.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of pranayama practices that can be used to get dramatically different effects. I call one of my favorites “Tracy’s Sleeping Pill,” because it is a practice I regularly use to help me fall asleep. It can easily be done lying down in bed, and unlike many sleeping medications there are no unpleasant side effects the next morning.

I’ve given this practice to many clients over the years, and for most, it really makes a difference. So the next time you have trouble sleeping, give this a try. And, if like many of my clients, you never finish it because you fall asleep in the middle of practicing, so much the better!

The Practice:

  1. Lie in bed, on your back in any position that is comfortable.
    Gradually, over 6 or more breaths, lengthen both your inhale and exhale. Make your exhale at least as long as your inhale. Stay at this lengthened breath at least 6 breaths.
  2. Break the exhale portion of your breath into two approximately equal parts, with natural pauses both between the parts and at the end of the exhale. Maintain this breath for at least 6 breath cycles.
  3. After at least 6 breaths, break the exhale portion of your breath into three approximately equal parts, with natural pauses both between the parts and at the end of the exhale.
  4. Continue this breath for at least 12 breath cycles. Do not strain the breath. If you do start to feel strain, go back to the two part breath in step 3. Then continue with that new breath for the rest of the practice.
  5. Once you finish 12 or more complete breaths in step 5, release the pauses completely and breathe with a lengthened breath for at least 6 breaths. Then gradually allow the breath to come back to a normal rhythm.

Namaste, and may you have a great night’s sleep!

Tracy Weber

My newest Downward Dog Mystery, Pre-Meditated Murder is available now  in e-book and paper back copies everywhere! Check this link for some local ideas. http://tracyweberauthor.com/buy_premeditated.html

All healed! (Sort of.)

Question:  What do you get when 90-pound adolescent German shepherd decides to charge downhill and her five-foot-two-inch owner refuses to let go of the leash?

Answer?  This.

X-ray of Tracy’s collar bone the night of the great dog-walk disaster.

I basically flew like a kite behind her and landed on my shoulder.  Ouch.  Big time. The ER doc told me with 100% certainty that I would need surgery. Basically, I’d end up with lots of screws and a plate I couldn’t eat off of.

Fortunately, she was wrong.

I celebrated the three-month anniversary of the incident this past Thursday by getting repeat x-rays and meeting for the third time with the shoulder surgeon. The news was good.  Sort of.  The collar bone has completely healed.  I’m cleared to teach yoga, carry groceries, and hold Ana’s leash while trying to avoid a repeat performance.

Tracy’s broken collar bone: Another view

Three months later: All healed!

There’s only one problem: Now I have  a shoulder  issue.  Evidently wearing a sling for five weeks did a number on my shoulder joint capsule.  The surgeon was quite pleased that I’d avoided surgery, but he sent me back for six more weeks of physical therapy. I feel like Punxsutawney Phil forced into my cave  for six more weeks of winter.

The good news is, this will all likely clear up with time and some effort.  My 60 to 90 minutes of daily shoulder exercises  aren’t ending any time soon, but I AM seeing improvement. I have less pain and more movement every day. I’m back teaching yoga at Whole Life Yoga, though I use a body double for some demonstrations, and I’ve hired a cadre of people who can help me take care of Ana whenever I need it.

Best news of all?  My hubby now helps me cook Ana’s food!

Here’s hoping summer brings warmth, light and most of all, health!

Tracy Weber

My newest Downward Dog Mystery, Pre-Meditated Murder is available now  in e-book and paper back copies everywhere! Check this link for some local ideas. http://tracyweberauthor.com/buy_premeditated.html

Celebrating New Beginnings

Many of you know that I recently sold my yoga studio, Whole Life Yoga, to the fabulous Kim Tull-Esterbrook.  Yesterday, Kim celebrated the studio’s re-birth, which seems so appropriate in this season of spring, Easter and new beginnings.  For those of you who weren’t able to attend, here’s a photographic tour of the day.

If you who don’t know Kim, you’re missing out! She is the lovely lady giving me a hug.  Kim has been my student, my assistant, and my friend for many years.  I adore her.  As I said at the party, selling Whole Life Yoga to her is like passing down my legacy to family.

She’s made a few improvements to the space, and I love them!  that shade of blue is one of my favorite colors.

But she’s also carrying on some of the old traditions, like serving my favorite vegan chocolate mousse cake!

The event began with a chant and blessing of the space led by the talented Julia Fay.

Kim invited me to say a few words.

Then she added some of her own.

After the formal part of the festivities, I snagged the first piece of that cake!

But I wasn’t alone.

Kim had a great turnout that spilled from the studio space …

to the lobby.  The gentleman below wearing the hat is Kim’s husband, Gavin, who she called the new Marc!  Another fabulous Whole Life Yoga instructor, Julie Miller, is the woman facing the photo.

People often ask me if I feel  melancholy now that the transition is official.  It would make sense, since the studio was a huge part of my life for 17 years.  But I can honestly say that I don’t. I feel gratitude that I have found someone to take over who honors what I’ve created, will improve it, and guide it into the future.  Please join me in supporting Kim and helping keep Whole Life Yoga alive and vibrant for the next 17 years!

Namaste

Tracy Weber

 

My newest Downward Dog Mystery, Pre-Meditated Murder is available now  in e-book and paper back copies everywhere! Check this link for some local ideas. http://tracyweberauthor.com/buy_premeditated.html