Who am I?

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Jefferson, Georgia, United States
Hello everybody, I am Heather. I love yoga, food and loud rock shows. I am here to lead you on a lifestyle that will have your soul shining! P.S. Cancer Sucks!

Monday, September 28, 2009


I always tell my clients that are looking to lose weight that its 90% what you eat and 10% exercise. The amount of sugar we eat is insane and it needs to be stopped! But, I am trying to eat a low sugar diet and its darn near impossible. Forget any convenience foods...or soup...or even my favorite hummus. I about keeled over when I saw that my favorite hummus had high fructose corn syrup in it...gag.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Balance postures have the value of strengthening the body, improving its structural integration, developing mental stability and focusing attention. Balance postures are organized into two classes, the first are leg balances and the second are arm balances. For example, Crow pose (see picture) is arm balance (not easy! but so good for your self esteem when you get it!). Leg balances strengthen the feet, legs and hips, and also help us refine the way we hold and move our body weight. Arm balances emphasize strengthening the muscles of the arms, shoulders, back, abdomen and pelvis. All balance postures give us a sense of increased mastery over our body and boost our self confidence. When we accomplish a balance pose, we feel focused, good about ourselves and possibly realize our potential as Yogis in both the areas of the mind and the body.

In balance postures the base our body is situated on is normally small and relatively unstable. The larger the base our body is balanced on, the more stable we become. The key to achieving balance postures is the ability to achieve equilibrium on an unstable base, using the displaced body weight as a counter balance. If we have tight ligaments or muscles it will be difficult to move the body weight sufficiently to create the counterbalancing effect necessary to maintain the posture. However, if we have loose ligaments and muscles it will be difficult to stabilize the joints where the body weight is transferred. Through study and practice of an asana sequence that addresses these particular issues in the Viniyoga tradition we can develop strength and flexibility where needed in order to maintain a balance posture.

It is very important to note that the breath plays an important role in balance postures. The breath will help us make the subtle adjustments necessary to achieve balance. Also, the eyes are very important in balance postures. We need to focus our eyes on a immobile spot in front of us and this will help us maintain equilibrium and focus. Focusing our eyes will also help our minds stay free from distractions.

Balance postures can have the components of forward bending, backward bending, twisting, lateral bending, extension and inversion. For example Tadasana is a classic extension posture, but when we add back bending, twisting or lateral bending, we displace our weight and then we are in a balance posture. These postures are great for strengthening the legs and feet.

In leg balances we need to watch out for lateral or backward displacement of the hips, collapsing the chest, twisting of the torso, excessive rotation of the supporting leg, jutting the chin forward or collapsing the head backward. In arm balances we need to watch out for collapsing the chest over the belly, ears toward the shoulders, sinking the pelvis into the arms, increasing the lumbar curve in inverted back bend balances.

There are significant risks to the joints in balances. In standing postures strain could come from trying to get the balance and contracting excessively in the neck and shoulders in order to achieve the balance. Also, in standing balance there is risk to strain in the low back and stress in the hips, knees, ankles and sacroiliac joints. In arm balances there is significant risk to the wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and upper back. These risks can be minimized by adequate preparation for the postures and avoiding any force.

Try out some balances in your practice and feel the strengthening mental focus qualities of these beneficial postures!

Love and Light,


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why Yoga?

Out of all the exercise programs out there, bootcamp, walking, aerobics, weight training...why choose yoga? Out of all of these styles of exercise, yoga is the only one that addresses the mind, body, breath and spirit. Its not just an exercise for your abs - its for your entire being. If you want to focus on your body's entire well being, yoga is a perfect addition to your fitness routine. I do see the value in other types of exercise, walking and light weight training is great for muscle tone and weight loss, but yoga is just...well...different! Try it out and see for yourself, you may be surprised at the results. Lean muscles, better balance, more flexibility and a happy immune system are just a few of the benefits of a yoga practice. Check it out:

Physiological Benefits of Yoga
Stable autonomic nervous system equilibrium
Pulse rate decreases
Respiratory rate decreases
Blood Pressure decreases (of special significance for hyporeactors)
Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) increases
EEG - alpha waves increase (theta, delta, and beta waves also increase during various stages of meditation)
EMG activity decreases
Cardiovascular efficiency increases
Respiratory efficiency increases
Gastrointestinal function normalizes
Endocrine function normalizes
Excretory functions improve
Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
Breath-holding time increases
Joint range of motion increase
Grip strength increases
Eye-hand coordination improves
Dexterity skills improve
Reaction time improves
Posture improves
Strength and resiliency increase
Endurance increases
Energy level increases
Weight normalizes
Sleep improves
Immunity increases
Pain decreases
Steadiness improves
Depth perception improves
Balance improves
Integrated functioning of body parts improves
Psychological Benefits of Yoga
Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
Mood improves and subjective well-being increases
Self-acceptance and self-actualization increase
Social adjustment increases
Anxiety and Depression decrease
Hostility decreases
Concentration improves
Memory improves
Attention improves
Learning efficiency improves
Mood improves
Self-actualization increase
Social skills increases
Well-being increases
Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
Self-acceptance increase
Attention improves
Concentration improves
Memory improves
Learning efficiency improves
Symbol coding improves
Depth perception improves
Flicker fusion frequency improves
Biochemical Benefits of Yoga
Glucose decreases
Sodium decreases
Total cholesterol decreases
Triglycerides decrease
HDL cholesterol increases
LDL cholesterol decreases
VLDL cholesterol decreases
Cholinesterase increases
Catecholamines decrease
ATPase increases
Hematocrit increases
Hemoglobin increases
Lymphocyte count increases
Total white blood cell count decreases
Thyroxin increases
Vitamin C increases
Total serum protein increases
Yoga Health Benefits versus Exercise Benefits

Yoga Benefits
Parasympathetic Nervous System dominates
Subcortical regions of brain dominate
Slow dynamic and static movements
Normalization of muscle tone
Low risk of injuring muscles and ligaments
Low caloric consumption
Effort is minimized, relaxed
Energizing (breathing is natural or controlled)
Balanced activity of opposing muscle groups
Noncompetitive, process-oriented
Awareness is internal (focus is on breath and the infinite)
Limitless possibilities for growth in self-awareness

Exercise Benefits
Sympathetic Nervous System dominates
Cortical regions of brain dominate
Rapid forceful movements
Increased muscle tension
Higher risk of injury
Moderate to high caloric consumption
Effort is maximized
Fatiguing (breathing is taxed)
Imbalance activity of opposing groups
Competitive, goal-oriented
Awareness is external (focus is on reaching the toes, reaching the finish line, etc.)
Boredom factor (who does not get bored on the treadmil for an hour!?)

I would love to see you in class. Don't forget your first class is free and I have added 2 more classes to my schedule.

Love and Light!!!!!

Some of this article was contributed by abcofyoga.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You...my students

My goal as a yoga teacher is to teach students the amazing benefits of yoga. I want to reach people who would not normally take yoga, be able to afford yoga and those who have a passion for yoga. In this spirit - I am having a Fall sale on yoga classes. All drop in classes are now only $10 per class for a limited time. Also, all punch cards are on sale as well - you can get 12 classes for only $100!
Also, I wanted to ask you some questions...

Scheduling... what works best for you? Day classes? Evening classes? What time works best? Also, what days would you be most likely to come to class? Is it me or do most people start to check out later in the week? ;) Would you be more likely to come to a Monday morning class or a Tuesday evening class? I know for a lot of you, evenings are crazy busy, so I am thinking of adding some day classes to accommodate you.

What type of classes appeal to you the most? Restorative Yoga, Classical Yoga, Intermediate Yoga, Yoga for Toning, Beginner Yoga, Yoga for Stress Relief, Private Lessons

Let me know what would make classes more accessible to you...I want to know!

Much love and many blessings,

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Yoga in Helen, GA

This past weekend I had the awesome opportunity to teach a group of people in Helen, GA. I had a blast! The weather was perfect, the rain held off and it was cool outside. We were on the deck at Smithgall Woods surrounded by lush greenery and a river of clear water. I hope to do more groups like this in the future.

It was a very interesting group to teach as some of the students had never taken yoga before, some had lots of experience, some were older, some were younger...and I had one student that declared at the beginning of class that she needed a cigarette and beer before we started! Ha! It was a fun group to say the least and lots of laughter was mixed in with our blissful surroundings. Viniyoga is perfect for everyone, as a viniyoga teacher I had the tools to teach everyone and offer several options for poses to make it doable by everyBODY.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I love breakfast, its my favorite meal. However, I tend to skip it or just grab something sweet like a granola bar or a high fiber cookie. Yeah, a cookie. Its one of those TLC cookies with like 5 grams of fiber in it, leave me alone!

Anyway...really...we need to eat a good breakfast. We alllllllllllll know this. We have heard it all our lives, but who has time to whip up a good for you breakfast when you are not sure if you put mascara on both eyes or just one???

Well, I have come up with some solutions. I will share with you some great, quick, easy recipes that will get your digestive fire going in the morning and give you good, consistent energy until lunch.

The first recipe is for a yummy to the tummy oatmeal. This will take some prep work, but only one night a week.


2 - 3 apples (depending on size)

1 teaspoon of grated ginger (fresh only please!)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon (honestly y'all, I am only guessing on the measurements, play around)

1/4 cup of dried cranberries (see if you can find the unsweetened kind)

water (or soy milk)


pinch of salt


PURE REAL *NOT HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP* MAPLE SYRUP (I abhor high fructose corn syrup)

On a night when you are already cooking (this will save you time) cut up your apples, grate your ginger and throw about a pat of butter in the pan. Then throw the apples, ginger, cranberries and cinnamon in there...let it get all nice and soft. Turn the pan down low and let them go for a while. We are stewing the apples, not frying them.

Put your apple goodness in a bowl and store it in the fridge till the next morning.

Also, while you are at it, you can pre-measure out your oatmeal, salt and a dash of cinnamon for the next day, put it in a Tupperware bowl and have it ready for you in the morning. Maybe this will take some pressure off and you will actually get mascara on both eyes.

In the morning - if you have time - boil your water and cook your oatmeal the old fashioned way - on the stove. Mix in your apple goodness, a little pure maple syrup and enjoy.

If you don't have time for all of that, add water to the oatmeal, add your apples and stick it in the microwave until its done. I find that you have to add more water when you cook it this way, or it will turn out like a mass of goo that is not very appetizing. Go with the stove top if you can.

Hope this help with your morning rush! And don't forget to get all your makeup on and shave BOTH legs.

Love and Light,


Just Breathe...

How many of us think about our breath on a daily basis? Unless you have some kind of breathing disorder like COPD, you probably do not think about your breath too often. It's automatic, natural and we do not have to think about it. However, our breath is the bridge between our mind, body and spirit. So, our breath is vitally important to our inner being. In a yoga class you typically hear the teacher reminding you to breathe through the poses and make sure you do not hold your breath. Sometimes, more detailed instruction such as when to inhale and when to exhale in a pose are used as well. We also have something called pranayama in yoga. This is breathing exercises you can do either while performing a yoga posture (asana) or after your asana practice while seated. Pranayama is very powerful. It affects our deeper structure, our organs, helps with anxiety, depression and can balance our entire system. Think about it, when we get all frazzled and really stressed - our breathing gets all out of whack and we breathe faster, shallower and we may start sweating etc... When we are relaxed, we tend to breathe slower and feel a sense of calm. Also, animals that live longer, take fewer breaths per minute than animals that have a shorter life span. Take an elephant vs. a dog, a dog pants and breathes faster than an elephant, the elephant takes much fewer breaths per minute and lives longer. To see a great blog on this topic click here.

The breath is of utmost importance in yoga. The breath is called our prana, our life force. Without it, we will die. There are no ifs ands or buts about that fact. Our breath is a gift from God.

The breath is very important in the Bible as well. Take this passage from the book of John:
Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
In the KJV of the Bible the word - breath - appears 42 times, breathe - appears 4 times, breathed - appears 4 times, breatheth - appears once, breathing - appears twice.

So, take a deep breath, relax and possibly live longer. Sounds nice, right?

Namaste and deeeeeeep, long, cleansing breaths to you all.