Yoga for Mormons: Don't Over Do It

The Problem For Mormons, General Conference is a lot like New Years—Church members often wake up the next day brimming with personal resolutions, which end up falling apart less than two weeks later.  It's tragic because it happens year after year!  We end up either trying too hard and get burned out, or we balk at our Sisyphean resolutions and give up in exasperation.  I call this pattern—which is born in a moment of inspiration, then leads to a spasm of fervor, or feelings of guilt for not having accomplished one's goal, and inevitably results in discouragement and complacencyThe Zeal Cycle

"Zeal creep" can be a daily struggle for yogis.  Many times, "I feel the zeal" after attending an especially cleansing yoga class, or witnessing someone demonstrate an INSANE (and inspirational) yoga pose. I'm like, "I want to do that right now!" And then I try, and fail. And then I lose interest. And I'm right back to where I was.

Zealotry is co…

20 GIFs for April Fools Day

Here are some GIFs of pranks to get you motivated for April Fools Day.
Warning: Most of these are pretty mean. But I think two of them are funny.

Yoga for Mormons: Diet

This is the second post in my Yoga for Mormons series, meant to demystify yoga principles for Latter-day Saints.  In this post, I discuss what yogis and Mormons should (and shouldn't) eat, specifically regarding meat, and why.
Ahiṃsā vs. Word of Wisdom For some schools of hatha yoga, the issue of vegetarianism is a serious concern, while for others it hardly receives mention.  For most yoga practitioners, diet is a deeply personal issue.  But for many it is also an issue of how we treat the other beings on our planet.  Similarly, in Mormonism, we have been given a doctrinal code of health referred to as the Word of Wisdom for our own benefit, as well as a way to honor and respect the gifts God has created for us.

Both in yoga and in Mormonism, disagreements on the morality of what is permissible to eat can result in heated confrontations.  In yoga, the argument against a meat-inclusive-diet is usually based upon the concept of ahiṃsā (nonviolence) from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras

Yoga for Mormons: Always Remember Him

This post explores, from an LDS perspective, the roots of namaskara (or anjali mudra), one of yoga's most-popular mudras (hand gestures).  Additionally, I share how "prayer pose" has helped me to observe my baptismal covenant to always remember Jesus Christ.  My purpose is to encourage members of the LDS faith to consider the harmony, which I believe exists, between yoga and the LDS system of beliefs.
What Does "Prayer Pose" Mean for Yogis?When I first began practicing yoga, I remember feeling uneasy about bowing with a group of strangers, hands clasped in adoration,and chanting "namaste."  I thought that doing so was some sort of betrayal of my faith.  For years, I guiltily played along out of fear of offending my instructor by not participating.  Little did I know that this fear was preventing me from benefiting from the mudra's intended purpose.

In order to overcome my unsettledness, I needed to overcome the misconception that yoga is a religion—…

The Kitchen Timer Technique

The Kitchen Timer method was lifted from Award-winning comedy author, Lauren Graham's, book, Talking As Fast As I Can. Graham recounts how she learned it from Don Roos, who based it on the Pomodoro Technique. Along with Graham, I can say that this method has transformed the way I write. I now spend way fewer hours, being productive. It gave me structure where there was none. It has changed my life as a writer, and I hope it changes yours too.

The principle of Kitchen Timer is that every writer deserves a definite and doable way of feeling successful everyday. To do this, we learn to judge ourselves on behavior, rather than content. We set up a goal for ourselves, as writers, that is easy, measurable, free of anxiety, and above all, failproof—because everyone can sit, and an hour will always pass.
Here’s how it works:1. Buy a kitchen timer that goes to sixty minutes. Or use a timer app. Or tell Siri to start a timer for sixty minutes.
2. Decide on Monday how many hours of writing you…

Bryan's 25 Ways to #LightTheWorld

Christmas time is a reminder that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. By following his teachings and example these 25 days leading up to Christmas, we can share His love and light with the world around us. Visit each day, December 1-25, to get the scripture prompt and watch a video example of how to apply his words. Search this #LightTheWorld facebook group for more ideas too.
My 2017 Light the World EffortOfficial PDF Calendar Here's how I plan to #LightTheWorld this year: December 1st: "Freely ye have received, freely give."Matthew 10:8 Smile. The free-est thing I can think of (insert ‘Merica meme here), is a smile. I’m not a naturally smiley person. But smiling always makes me feel good. I will light the world by intentionally smiling at everyone I come across today. If I don't see many people, I'll just smile whenever I think of it and hope it affects the impersonal interactions I have with others.December 2nd: "I was thirsty and ye gave…

How to Hasten the Hastening

In the April 2013 LDS General Conference, church leaders emphasized the need for members to hasten the work. It's taken some time, but I have begun to think about what it means to "hasten the work," and what I can do, personally, to hasten the hastening. What Does It Mean to "Hasten the Work?"The work refers to the work of salvation or four-fold mission of the Church: to proclaim the gospel, to perfect the saints, to redeem the dead, and to care for the needy. While the work refers to all four of these emphases, special emphasis has recently been placed upon the gathering of Israel.  In the 2013 special mission presidents' training broadcast, Elder L. Tom Perry proclaimed, "the need and opportunity to share the gospel has never been greater." It is projected that the Church will have 100,000 full-time missionaries serving by December 2013; almost a 100% increase from the previous year.  (Incidentally, the projection also claims that this bubble wil…