Category Archives: Mama Gut Yoga

Happy Holiday from the Mama Gut!

I find myself wanting to take a quiet moment out of the hustle and bustle of the family joy this week and share a wonderful prose about the greatest gifts. I like to take this time quietly for myself and my family, however, this felt too good to not share. Enjoy the season!

The Greatest Gifts

May we break boundaries, tear down walls, and build on the foundation of goodness inside each one of us. May we look past differences, gain understanding, and embrace acceptance. May we reach out to each other, rather than resist. May we be better stewards of the earth, protecting, nurturing, and replenishing the beauties of nature. May we practice gratitude for all we have, rather than complain about our needs. May we seek cures for the sick, help for the hungry, and love for the lonely. May we share our talents, give our time, and teach our children. May we hold hope for the future very tenderly in our hearts and do all we can to build for bright tomorrows.

And may we love with our whole hearts, for that’s the only way to love.

by Kathy Davis

yoga-christmas 2013

Be well and merry this holiday season!

~ jibean

Monthly Mantra November

How could November have gone so quickly? It slipped away in a bliss of turkey, cheeses, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, greens, pie, and wine. On Thanksgiving Eve, I taught a candlelight flow yoga class. I didn’t know what to expect for attendance; turns out many people were feeling a need to get to their mat before the big day of thanks was upon us. It was a large and lovely attendance!

In that class, my offered intention was gratitude for the ability to move our bodies. Thanksgiving is often about the gratitude you feel externally, and I wanted to turn that internally, to the very breath and moment of the practice. Each pose, each transition, each breath – grateful we could do it.

When each student arrived, I asked them, “What’s one of your favorite poses to do in yoga class?” Each person had a different pose to offer… Little did they know I was writing them all down on a notecard and composing our class for the night. The offerings ranged from childs pose to dancer pose, from reverse warrior to legs up the wall pose. Some arm balances, some deep twists, all mixed in for good measure.

Our class was our favorite poses and the gratitude we feel to be able to do those poses and the favorite poses of our fellow yogis in the room. It was a moving, strong, flowing practice; it may end up being my favorite from the entire year.

What’s one of your favorite yoga poses to do in your yoga practice?

~ jibean

Monthly Mantra October

In this beautiful fall month, I find myself focused on “fall cleaning.” It’s the same concept as spring cleaning: making space for what we need, ridding ourselves of what we don’t need. I think it comes from my Minnesota roots, feeling the impending winter coming and that it means being inside with all my stuff for six months.

In the yoga teachings, we find the niyamas which are the guiding principles of things to do. The niyamas are something we work towards in our yoga journey. The first of the niyamas is saucha. Saucha is the cleansing, purifying principle. We take care of ourselves through physical cleansing and purifying. We take care of ourselves emotionally and mentally by cleansing our thoughts and letting go.

Through several twist variations on traditional poses, we create warmth in our bodies, tighten our muscles, sweat a bit, smile a lot. We let go of the extra hindrances we feel in our mental and emotional space by making room for gratitude. I also mixed in heart openers to expand through the chest muscles, relax the pectorals, and literally open the heart space a little more.

If anyone else practices “fall cleaning” in their life, I would be happy to hear about it! Namaste.

~ jibean

Monthly Mantra September

Cultivating Peace. It’s not an easy task. Yogis come bustling into a studio with so much to shed; their day, their week, their shoes, their stresses; their fatigue; their tension; their distractions; their keys; their cell phones.

Lately we’ve been playing with weight and props, like sandbags, to connect to the breath, to ground ourselves into the moment, and quiet literally ground ourselves to the mat. Sometimes we start on our backs in supine bound angle pose, knees open, soles of the feet pressed together with a sandbag across the hip bones. The weight settling us when sometimes our minds can’t. The rooting down of the back foot in Warrior I. The press of the palms to the mat in Downward Facing Dog. The fold and surrender in low lunge, gravity bringing the hip flexor lower with each breath, sinking… melting… giving into the hip. Then, a twist on the floor to release the back, shoulders connected to the earth. Finally, legs up the wall pose, with a sandbag across the feet, pushes the hips more firmly to the floor. Here, we took the stillness and peace of savasana for several minutes.

Inspiration found in the most unsuspecting moments: bathroom wall of an amazing chiropractor at West Hills Chiropractic Clinic.

Inspiration found in the most unsuspecting moments: bathroom wall of my amazing chiropractor at West Hills

Chiropractic Clinic.


It does not mean to be in a place where there is

no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things

and still be calm in your heart.

I can’t credit the originator of the quote, but I wanted to share it with all of you.

~ jibean

Global Mala 2013: Intention for Peace

{You’re invited to the Global Mala 2013 in Portland, Ore. 108 Sun Salutations for World Peace on Sunday, August 22 at 12 pm. Santosha Yoga. All proceeds benefitted the Water Project.}

Global Mala 2013

Global Mala 2013
108 Sun Salutations for World Peace

108 Sun Salutations. 108 planks. 108 chaturangas (pushup). 108 tadasanas (mountain pose: standing tall). A mala is a set of 108 beads together to be used in meditation, prayer, and to focus the mind on a mantra. 108 is a sacred number in Hindu and Buddhist teachings and important in yoga teachings.

The purpose of the Global Mala Yoga for Peace is to unite the global yoga community from every continent, school or approach to form a “mala around the earth” through collective practices based upon the sacred cycle of 108 on Sept. 19th or 20th, Fall Equinox as the yoga world’s offering to further the UN International Peace Day.

Wherever you are this weekend, take a moment on or off the mat to cultivate peace within yourself and bring it forth to the world. As evidenced in the news this past week, we are collectively in need of peace. Peace is part of my yoga mantra for the month and you can read about it in Monthly Mantra September.


Monthly Mantra August

Yoga is an important part of my life and of whom I am. I can’t profess to be all yoga, but it is definitely a key piece of me and my journey. Each month it’s my intention to share one of the theme’s from a class I’ve taught.

For August, the monthly mantra from yoga classes I’ve taught is Learn to do nothing.

The summer is such a fun time of year, the sunlight, activities, outings. And, yet, for myself and my students I can feel sometimes the fun becomes hectic feeling and fast paced. Any mom, or parent, can tell you about multi-tasking, the zip of the day from wake up to bedtime. It’s from this place, that I asked my students to focus on learning to do nothing.

We spent several minutes in supta badha konasana, a reclined position with feet together, legs relaxed, palms facing up. My talk was about doing nothing, being with the breath, the stillness, the quiet. With each breath trusting that this moment doing nothing was what we were doing, was what we were supposed to be doing.

Throughout practice, I’d call them back to this nothing. To doing nothing. Physically, we were moving, but with a mindfulness approach to not strain or force the posture. It was important in this practice that we, “not argue with a pose” but give into it and just letting the body go to where it could go.

In some ways it was a mellow practice, yet it always maintained a very purposeful flow. Flowing through a yoga practice is beautiful in the dance it creates between body and breath. Learning to do nothing took us to a new level of release in the muscles and the mind settled into a beautiful, calm state of grace for savasana. Namaste.

~ jibean

Savasana Secrets

Have you ever wondered what your yoga teacher is doing while you drift into bliss in savasana, corpse pose, the final pose of every yoga practice? Well, I will tell you my savasana secrets because it led me to realize some of my priorities and make changes to my blog.

Most of the time I’m simply watching the students in my class, observing any fidgeting or signs of unease. I attempt to provide words or essential oils that will help soothe, calm, settle everyone into a state where they can absorb the benefits of their yoga practice. And sometimes I meditate, drawn into the lull of the heavy peace in the candlelight room.

Recently, during a lovely savasana, my heart was open, my mind calm, breathing deep and clearly, my priorities popped into my head. Things I had been struggling with, chasing even, were tasks I told myself that I should be doing, however, they were not my priorities. I realized, in a semi-startled manner, that I wasn’t aware of my own priorities. The truth I realized in that room was that the things that really truly are my priorities are the things that I will make time for, no matter what. And those things were not working on my French, researching diets, tweeting, studying recipes, etc. My priorities are to squeeze in as much time as I can with my kids, plus a little yoga, a little wine, laughter, and as much sleep as I can get.

Thus, I decided this isn’t truly a blog about journeying to my core from the physical sense (though I am still working on that), but more the emotional core of me. Who I am, what I want, what I’m interested in and what I care about.

So you’ll see some new posts and new categories with recurring themes. You can read more about the update on my About Me page.

~ jibean

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Resources for childbirth educators and for expectant parents

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Fueling the parenting universe with inspiration for family fun.