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esther m palmer

all the posts

This archive includes blog posts and podcast show notes, spanning many years of an evolving perspective and knowledge base. Enjoy!
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June 1, 2016
what you say matters. yup, every word.

When I teach a yoga class, I try to let a little food for thought filter in through the steps and breaths. Some days, the most magical phrases tumble out. The eloquence of what I've just said astonishes me. Did I really just say something that I'm willing to pretend sounded smart and useful? How did that happen? I'm especially […]

May 18, 2016
an equation to live by: thoughts, feelings, actions

You're practicing observing your thoughts. Maybe you're recognizing the power of thinking. But how exactly do thoughts lead to action? Remember Newton and the roughly equal force (F) of sudden (high a) vs. daily (high m) thoughts? Well, if fundamental physics got us to the idea of the thoughts having power (F), it was the algebra that helped us understand the different ways thoughts […]

May 11, 2016
you can get on board with the power of thinking

There's a powerful force in your life. Your thoughts. (Missed my email on how to start observing your thoughts? View it here and then sign up below to catch the next one!) If your thoughts create palpable force, then perhaps we can draw in a little help from our old pal Newton to understand how thinking works... I […]

April 27, 2016
how to observe your gait and move better

Have you ever started to observe your gait and got lost in the rhythm of your stride? I love that a simple walk can lead to meditative focus in the mind. Mind you, it's not my entry point for meditation, because rather than being lulled into focus, I spend every second analyzing the myriad details of […]

April 13, 2016
how to start observing your breath and breathe easier

Last week, I guided my email subscribers to spend the week observing their breath. (Want in? Sign up below!) Why would you want to spend time observing your breath? Because there's strong evidence linking breath quality to physical, mental, and emotional health. And then there's my own experience. Being "in charge" of my breath has changed. my. life.  If you're new to observing […]

June 29, 2015
about asana

Asana means "seat" and in contemporary yoga we use the term to refer to the posture, carriage, or shape of the body. So, for example, "trikonasana" is a form in which the leg stance create a triangle shape. The objective of asana has varied over time. In the Classical period, during which we believe the […]

June 22, 2015
the practice of yoga

There's a premise in ISHTA Yoga (and I think all yoga) that the objective of daily practice of yoga is to experience undifferentiated or universal consciousness. But what does that even mean? I don't know. I'm investigating. Yoga is also defined as the "stilling of the fluctuations of the mind." Quieting the chatter of thoughts. […]

June 13, 2015
what is yoga?

What is yoga? Is it an experience? Is it a mystical explanation for (the origin of) existence? Is it a collection of practices that help individuals make sense --cognitively or physiologically-- of their humanity (as it is inextricably intertwined with the universe)? Every six months or so, I realize that I'm not really sure I […]

May 16, 2015
cause + effect in the real world

Once upon a time, cause and effect were simply part of math class. As absurd as it sounds, I didn't extrapolate the "if..., then..." lessons of math class out into the "real world". I didn't recognize in math a language that described the natural world (though I hope my teacher were at least trying to […]

April 13, 2015
how I discovered multiple perspectives

I pride myself (humbly, I hope) on being a champion for multiple perspectives. Why? Because it hurts less and heals more. Let me explain. For a brief time, I attended a boarding school that held mandatory "non-denominational" chapel service once a week. Well, as a proud non-believer, and rather bratty anti-religion-ist, I thought this was […]

April 6, 2015
first cultivate compassion where it's easy

Being compassionate with strangers and acquaintances is relatively easy for me. Doing the same with family and close friends is not. Last week, I gave an example of turning irritation into compassion that for me is completely doable. I can see an annoying colleague through compassionate eyes with just a small moment's pause to consider the full situation. If […]

April 1, 2015
why venting won't really calm you

It's great when scientific studies confirm for us what we can easily experience for ourselves. Take venting, about which I learned a little tidbit from NPR's new science show Invisibilia. Apparently when something irks you, venting about it to someone who'll agree with your point of view --validating your reason for venting-- helps to calm […]

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