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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July 18, 2014
Is there more than one yoga?

An anatomy student of mine recently took a yoga (asana) class that tested her notion of what a safe and productive yoga class can be. Her observations painted a picture of an approach to yoga that tests my understanding of what yoga is. Let's call this yoga style "Studio X". Here's how my student described […]

June 14, 2014
more than words

Somewhere I got the number 80% as the percentage of our communication that is nonverbal. I haven't found a reliable source that can verify that the breakdown is as cut and dry as that, or that that number is even at all accurate, but I am happy to make use of it to point out […]

December 25, 2013
why choose yoga?

I use yoga for self study, but it's not the only tool I have. What makes one tool more fitting than another? Why choose yoga, not gyrotonic, not pilates, not some other mode of movement? When I started this post with the above consideration, I didn't finish writing immediately because I wanted a bit more […]

April 18, 2013
be present, even when you're not

How do we stay present when we don't feel like the time we're in is our own? When my alarm went off at 4:50am this morning, I couldn't remember why I was being waked... I felt a little like my sleep, my dreaming was being robbed from me. So when I lumbered out to my […]

April 1, 2013
dynamic movement

This morning I was introduced to 'The Fuzz Speech' by anatomist Gil Hedley. Gil describes, in layman's terms, a lesson we can learn from our cats + dogs: after sleep, stretch. When our bodies are full of fluidity and movement potential, there's often an instinct to stretch upon waking --just like we see in our […]

March 26, 2013
adho mukha vrksasana

The name Adho Mukha Vrksasana means upside down tree... When you think of a tree upside down, on its branches, what comes to mind? Delicate balance? In the wrong set up, it crumbles. Handstand is kind of like that. But even though our bodies didn’t evolve to take our full weight onto our hands, completely […]

December 10, 2012
yoga every day

Remember how well my yoga + ayurveda cold remedies worked last week? I was pretty proud of that, in a humble and amazed kinda way. Well, those remedies weren't much of a match for the flu that hit me two days later. Talk about lousy cold-season luck! I spent all of last week in bed […]

December 4, 2012
when ideas leave us

Friday I spent most of my day propped up on bolsters or pillows of one kind or another. I woke up with a cold, so I cancelled my two evening appointments and hunkered down into rest and recuperate mode. When I'm sick, I generally still can't sleep during the day, and so I watch movies […]

November 26, 2012
when discipline becomes your friend

You know those times when you get motivated (like the Monday after Thanksgiving!), finally, to do something good for yourself? And then you do that something and it feels great, the stars align, and life starts to move a little more smoothly? And then after the initial high of doing it, the challenge of sticking […]

September 14, 2012
my own theory of relativity

Look at your hand. What size is it? Unless you're glove shopping, your answer will be relative -relative to the proportions of your body, relative to the sizes of other people- or you might be stumped by the absurdity of the question and hem and haw around as accurate an answer as possible (that would […]

August 27, 2012
staying unattached

Today I watched a very dear friend squeeze all of her belongings into every last corner of her new (used) car and drive off to her "new" (continuing) life in a new house in a new state, with new friends waiting to be made. It wasn't easy in the slightest (but I'm still posting a […]

August 20, 2012
4 simple steps to manage what troubles you

Today, one of my students seemed surprised to learn that I, like she, am working through knee and back pain. Yes, even yoga teachers walk around with aches and pains. We are pretty darn human 😉 Why is it that being human causes us physical pain? Why are we sooo susceptible to habits that hurt […]


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