Liza Laird Yoga Book Club

This month we will be reading Livin’ the Moment: Getting To Ecstasy Through Wine, Chocolate, and your iPod Playlist by David Romanelli. I was inspired to read this after taking the Yoga and Wine Party for the Ages workshop with Dave and would love to share what I learned at the workshop with all of you.

Come ready to enjoy wine, chocolate, and interesting discussions!

Date: Oct 25th

Time: 4:30 pm



Balance Challenge Guidelines

The guidelines that I will be following over the next 12 weeks are as follows.

Starting the first week with:


1.     Eating

– Mindful eating – in both what I eat and how quickly I eat it

2.     Sleeping

– Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night

3.     Yoga Asana

– Practicing at least 1 hour each day

– 5 poses will be chosen to focus around for each week

Slowly incorporating the Mind into the challenge:


1.     Writing

– Daily journaling – at least 2 sentences

2.     Technology Breaks

– 1 hour each day where I do not check my emails

– No computer (or iPhone!) after 10 pm

I expect to start integrating the spirit cleanse component in the fourth or fifth week, but don’t want it to feel so structured, so I’ll just keep a close eye on my progress and see when it feels natural to begin incorporating these components.


1.     Meditation

– Vipassana (Mindfulness) Meditation

– Mantra Meditation

(I will try both of these during different weeks and research other types of meditation to see which resonates with me the most to keep a consistent daily practice for at least 20 minutes daily)

2.     Feng Shui

– Create a clutter free environment in my bedroom

– Harmonize the flow of energy in my home to create balance and harmony

Look for posts on my blog, Facebook & Twitter to track my progress!


12 Week Balance Challenge – Day 1 – Week 1

The next 12 weeks of my life mark a shift to a new chapter and journey where I will leave the corporate world behind and pursue yoga, yoga therapy, and psychology full time. How I feel, act, and exist over the next 12 weeks will provide a foundation for the rest of my life. I expect the transition to be long, joyful, exciting and painful. I feel that if I am going to get through it, I need to be more focused, mindful, and present than I have been in the past. For this reason, I have created a 12 Week Balance Challenge, where I will focus on balancing body, mind, and spirit. I like to think of it as a cleanse except it incorporates both the mind and body.

The 12 Week Balance Challenge will start with a body cleanse, then transition to include a mind cleanse, and hopefully the final phase will result in a spiritual cleanse. I won’t try to do too much at once because that kind of abrupt shift may  just cause increased and unnecessary stress.

So I’ll begin by trying the following; 1. Eating more mindfully and deliberately 2. Sleeping at least 7-8 hrs each night (sadly I average 5 these days) 3. Expanding my physical yoga practice to new and challenging ranges I have yet to explore.

Once I am comfortable with this after a week or two, I will begin the mind cleanse with; 1. Daily journaling 2. Technology breaks, letting go of my emails for even just 1 hr each day, and no computer (or iPhone!) after 10 pm.

Finally, cleansing my spirit will have two components: 1. Meditation 2. Feng Shui. I expect to start this in the fourth or fifth week, but don’t want it to feel so structured, so I’ll just keep a close eye on my progress and see when it feels natural to begin incorporating these components.

I look forward to sharing my trials and tribulations over the next 12 weeks. I think it’s so important at times to step back and really carve out time to set goals for maintaining balance in my life. I think this 12 Week Balance Challenge will be a good start. I welcome you to join me in this approach or create one that makes the most sense for you! Try it for a month, week or even just a day. One little step will go a long way.


The power of restorative yoga…

Restorative yoga is a conscious mind-body practice best described as active relaxation. Restorative asanas (postures) have wonderful healing properties for those recovering from injuries, depression and life in general.

We all live such stressful lives that increase the rate at which our sympathetic nervous system is triggered. The sympathetic nervous system manages our response to dire circumstances when we have to choose between ‘fight or flight’ — whether we protect ourselves or try to run away. The sympathetic nervous system sends blood to the extremities to prepare the body to attack or escape. A continued state of ‘fight or flight’ can lead to high levels of stress and cause illness and disease. Yoga can help counteract this increasing trend in our society and promote a balanced life.

Yoga, and especially Restorative Yoga, helps to teach the body to cultivate the parasympathetic nervous system — the ‘relaxation response’. This system helps to regulate our breathing, decrease heart rate, lower blood pressure, and improve digestion, because the blood flows to the organs that specifically need it and not only to the extremities.

The restorative nature of the asanas relaxes the body so it can open up to release tension and toxins that can cause illness. Benefits you receive from Restorative Yoga are plentiful. At times when you feel week, fatigued, or stressed, they can calm and sooth your body and mind. Restorative postures can also be beneficial for difficult times in your life like the death of a loved one, change of job or residence, marriage, divorce, vacations, major holidays, or when you are ill or recovering from an injury.

This gentle approach to yoga can be wearisome for beginners, as it is difficult to quiet the mind. If this is you, it is important to focus on being in the asanas rather than doing them. There are many props used in order to make you comfortable enough to stay in the postures for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. The idea is to use the props (blankets, blocks, eye pillow, etc.) to your advantage so there is no strain in your practice.

Intrigued by Restorative Yoga? Come take a class with me at Body & Mind Builders, 78 Reade St. Tuesdays 7:15 – 8:15 pm and Fridays 12:00 – 1:00 pm, or set up a private lesson to cultivate the healing properties of yoga in your home;