Valerie Reiss

Valerie Reiss

Valerie is a writer, editor, speaker, consultant, and Kripalu Yoga instructor in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, Women's Health, Natural Health, Yoga Journal, Beliefnet, Vegetarian Times, and more. She keeps a gratitude blog, wrote Yoga Journal's NYC blog, Samadhi and the City, and has blogged for Lime.com and others. As Holistic Living & Blogs Editor at Beliefnet.com she also co-wrote the popular Fresh Living blog. She was previously Articles Editor at Breathe, a yoga-inspired lifestyle magazine. A native New Yorker, Valerie has an M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. from Beloit College. She's also working on a book about yoga, cancer, and some of life's other humbling hilarities.
Posted on November 19th, 2013 by in Words from the Wise

The BRFWA Prescription

Often in the yoga world, you’ll hear directions like, “Let it go,” “Relax,” “Breathe into it.” These all sound lovely, but when I’m in a wound-up state, they strike me as abstract, unattainable, and a tad annoying—Let what go, where? Relax? Thanks, I’ll get right on that. And breathe into what? But my Kripalu Yoga […]

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Posted on October 28th, 2013 by in Yoga

There’s No Sound Like Om

Ommm. It’s often the first and last sound in your ears in a yoga class. But what does it mean? Perhaps you’ve heard it defined as “the sound of the universe”—but what does that really mean? Turns out, a lot—and yet, like many spiritual (and especially yogic) things, it’s not so easy to define. “It’s […]

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Posted on July 25th, 2013 by in Wake-Up Call

Ditching Doubt and Embracing Amma, the Hugging Guru

I have a complicated relationship to gurus and so-called enlightened beings. The whole “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” thing seems to be a universal truth humanity just can’t get past—the rise and fall of the revered transcends boundaries of faiths, politics, and nations. And yet, in the spiritual world, it’s so tempting to […]

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Posted on June 17th, 2013 by in Yoga

Summer Yoga Reading: 8 Books to Inspire Your Brain, Practice, and Smile

What is it about summer and books? Like kale and quinoa, they just go together. Dreamy weather plus slowing down equals perfect conditions for lazy afternoons spent reading on a beach or by a lake, or lounging in a favorite chair while the sun casts leafy shadows across the room. Ahhh. To accompany you along […]

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Posted on May 9th, 2013 by in Conscious Living

Knocked Up with Joy: One Woman’s Pregnancy Journey

When I was 17 I was obsessed with the idea of being pregnant. I sketched women round and bursting with child—over and over. I traced pregnant photos from coffee table books. I imagined, yearned, and fantasized about becoming a giant human peach. I didn’t actually want to be a teen mom, but I loved the […]

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Posted on April 27th, 2013 by in Healthy Living

A Gentler, Kinder Spring Detox

Spring has sprung! Kind of, sort of—well, just enough to get me in the mood to clear out the old, stale, winter energy and usher in some fresh air. This means combing through closets, the pantry, and recirculating stuff that no longer serves. It also means cleaning out me. Winter is an inherently stiller time—that […]

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Posted on April 22nd, 2013 by in Healthy Living

The Joy of Eating

Almost right away, our teacher asks us to draw a “memorable food experience.” Nothing gets adults past their fear of anything, even drawing, faster than food. Gripping crayons passed around in paper cups, we sketch elaborate Thanksgiving tables, giant pots of comforting stew, and quite a few lobsters. When our teacher, Kripalu nutritionist Kathie Madonna […]

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Posted on March 26th, 2013 by in Conscious Living

Making Peace with TV: 6 Tips for Healthier Watching

Most of us know that watching TV isn’t exactly the kale of activities but rather the physical equivalent of eating deep-fried Spam. One recent Harvard study found that excessive TV watching (20 hours a week) can lower men’s sperm count by 50 percent. An Australian study revealed that every hour those 25 and older spend […]

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Posted on March 2nd, 2013 by in Meditation

Meditating for Sleep: Beditation 101

When I did a nine-day vipassana meditation retreat a few years ago, as you might guess, we pretty much meditated all day. We either sat on cushions, all 60 of us in a hall, or we sat in our rooms—on our beds or floors, observing our breath, thoughts, and sensations. About 13 hours of meditation […]

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Posted on February 14th, 2013 by in Life Lessons, Relationships

Communication 101: Talking and Listening, for Real

My man, Brad, and I have been practicing the Imago Dialogue since nearly the beginning of our relationship. Though the name sounds like a drama class exercise, it’s actually a simple map for communicating consciously that helps us each feel heard. About four months into dating Brad, I was covering a wellness conference and had full […]

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