stephynow stephynow

1840 posts   72307 followers   499 followings

Stephanie Birch  fiercely loving mama, writer, life capturer, yoga teacher | sac, cali | guide | | Disco Funk Playlist👇🏼

Real-time breath with a side of my 6 year old playing Minecraft. He tells me he's built a bat cave "for us" with a crafting table and a theater. And I sorta-kinda know what he's talking about. 😬🤓

Practicing yoga off the gram. I'll start with the physical. I've shared this squat with the many names before. I believe it is important to focus on the target areas of the body, we can modify/adjust ourselves accordingly. It is opening the groin, inner thigh, hips, etc. It stretches the lower hamstrings, back, neck, and ankles. It can be a lot of compression for the ankles too (a bone thing!), which may be what prevents a student from dropping low. Pictured here are some "same-same but different" looks with similar targets.
- you can roll a blanket/mat under your heels to relieve ankle compression. Or place it behind your knees for a squeeze.
- sit on a bench or on blocks.
- send your bum way back behind you, bringing your chest forward.
- drop your knees wide, like you would for a toe-stretch.
- or take the tops of your feet down, knees wide, for a chest-lifted child's pose variation.
These all look slightly different (and there's more), when we focus on a target area, we can adjust. It doesn't mean we have to always go for a pictured pose, cue, or what our neighbor is doing in class. You are your best teacher, your body is your best cue. If you have to force it (harm), leave it. It will always give you feedback and a single posture can come with a family of shapes and variations.
It's important for me, as a student and teacher, to dissect these poses. Alignment and anatomy are important, this is a practice of non-harming and designed to be sustainable as we go (grow) through life. We must know when/how to modify. There are many well-intentioned "do this/not this" or "good vs bad" posts on the square, there's so much more to explore than two examples given. Bodies in the real world need more than two examples of demonstration. In person, hands-on instruction, or tutorials with modifications as the rule can make the world of a difference in your practice. Talk to your teachers, take foundational workshops at studios, and/or work privately with someone that has a clear understanding that one pose doesn't fit all. Asana is a moving dialogue, let's keep it moving and long-living.

Today, I feel full. Like the loved up, seen, and heard kind of full. This social media thing is funny to me. Wonderful-funny. Distractingly-funny. Annoyingly-funny. Life-connecting-funny. I started this account in 2012, in the midst of being a brand new mom and in the midst of my depression. I don't know, maybe I was looking for a distraction. Or a message. Maybe I was trying to say something then. Or see something. Since then, I have found loving connections through being vulnerable. I have found wisdom through creation and childlike play. I have found people living and loving boldly and beautiful. I have disappointment and upsets. I have found growth. I have found that yoga can take place many ways. It's a state of life. A testament of love. A path of healing. It's limitless and lifelong.
I am full today from this morning's chat with @jenpastiloff. I am full today from lunch with @carrot_bowl_bonnie. In my head, I am squealing, "Omg! I get to chat or hang with these women! Like whoa!"
Without this square, I wouldn't know these women. Getting the chance to hear one on the phone and see another in person is something I'll never take for granted. And while they live miles from me, and many wonderful women that heart-warrior-it-up with me do, I feel them as though they're standing right beside. The kind of HELL YES women that encourage and go forward, even when it's scary. This is sacred. I hope you all have women in your life like this. I hope we continue to meet and find this sacredness within each other as life keeps us open.
Today, I am full. Grateful for the women that show up and adventure-on.

Disco-funk yoga coming at you this Friday at 5:45pm at @solfirejstreet.
Inviting all you disco queens and kings to move your body to the sounds of disco; the anthems, remixes, nu-disco, and euro-disco. Taking music requests from all of you queens and kings, share below, if you've got something juicy.
Spandex, hot pants, and glitter welcome (totally not required)!
Hope to see you on your mat this Friday or catch the love train for my regular schedule:
Monday's at noon.
Tuesday's 5:45pm & 7:15pm (subbing for @janna_yoga).
Thursday's 4:30pm & 5:45pm.
Saturday's 4:30pm, power up flow.
Saturday's 8:15am

I am intimate with this light as much as I am with the darkness. Continuously choosing to uncover and discover that I am capable, whole, alive, and full of love. Knowing this for myself, I know this in you. I see you and feel you and trust you and believe in you as I do for myself. We are an interwoven reflection spiraling around each other, toward each other, and away from each other.
You are me, I am you. We are each other.
Photo by @sodalime_.

Wake up and love.
It's the hustle of the heart.

Photograph the things that make you happy, like this bowl. Today's tastebud orgasm brought to you by Ahi on spinach, carrot, mushroom, red onion, cucumber, avocado with soy sauce and sriracha.
Mouth dressed in Sunday's best: drool.

I don't have many words right now. Only a scribbling on a half-torn page in my lined journal. Just because you don't have much to say or to emote, doesn't mean you are halted. People may believe you to be frozen and they may objectify their own perception or promote their own projections.
It is not yours for taking.
It is not yours to settle.
It is not yours.
Say out loud, "this is not mine. I am not responsible for another, I am responsible for myself." This is important. This is your power; taking ownership of your life, your energy, the company you keep, the thoughts and beliefs you hold. You hold the power and the greatest power you hold is your capability to love. Through it all. Let go of what you've been taught about what love looks like; sometimes it's holding space, saying nothing, walking away, or, in fact, rising up with and for another. Use your life and your energy in service. Ask your heart. Put yourself into work of the highest calling. Let go of the petty, go out into the work of big and brave. It all looks different. Sometimes small is big to some. Sometimes big is small to another. It is all important. The work of great purpose and a bleeding life.
Violence will never move us forward. It will tether us to old thought, old beliefs, and old history that bred on separation and better-than complexes. It is the stale and old systems that disconnected humanity. Meet today's hate with fierce love. Stand up for others, take out your hand, open your heart, and extend you me life.
Only love can live here, anything else will be the death of us.
Fiercely loving,

Prost! We call this a Reporter. I don't know the why or how to the made-up name but it is tasty-treat.
Cider on bottom and spoon-poured porter Bier on top. One of our favorite, delicious and summertime combos is pineapple cider with coconut porter.
Happy toasting the tastebuds and Friday night, friends!

Feel it and then free it.
Nothing is meant to keep. The constant is always in motion. Life is always a-changing.
Live it up and love it up.

I love you more than you know. You are the heart that beats outside of my chest. You are my greatest teacher. You are my biggest reminder to live wildly present and full of love.

I would not be mad if Tuesday happened everyday.
Fish tacos:
Grilled fish
Salt and pepper sprinkled across.
Put it in your mouth. Let the party begin.

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