Loving life with nature, beauty and yoga's wisdom.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Breath Exercise to Ease Stress that's as Easy as Saying "1,2,3"




      To create a calm mind and body during this stressful pandemic era requires the ability to switch from effort to ease in an instant. To be able to transition your mind and body from the intensity of the current quarantine life schedule to a place of quiet, to a place of rest, so you can rejuvenate and restore, and come back with a calm state of being. If you skip taking time to rest your mind and body, you will build up so much stress, and wake up the next day even more frantic. Have you noticed that build up? Nobody needs that! Especially now! What you can do to help yourself be better in this crisis is to give yourself plenty of self care. Allow yourself as little as 10 minutes or somewhere up to 1 hour to let go with some quiet time to rest and stretch your breath.

      As you read this, put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Feel your breath in its natural state breathing you. It's a wave. It's always there. When you focus on the tidal quality of this wave and stay there for a while, you found it. You found CALM. That's the healer, the parasympathetic nervous system otherwise known as our peaceful nervous system. A peaceful and calm you is what the world needs right now. Not a mind and body filled with adrenaline and anxious energy.

      Here's a breath exercise that will help you access a calmer you and it is as easy as saying "1,2,3."

      You can do this exercise seated upright in a chair, cross legged on the floor, or reclined.

      If reclined, get a throw blanket and fold it up as seen in the photo above. Place it under your shoulder blades, so it props up your chest. Make sure the back of your shoulders fall to the floor and your palms face up. Also note how the blanket is not under your lower back. It's under your shoulder blades. You need to feel comfortable. If you're not, then get rid of the blanket, and rest flat on the floor.

      Then give way to the comfort of your seat or the blanket folded under your shoulder blades. Acknowledge the tiredness and exhaustion your mind and muscles are holding. Feel yourself little by little release into the earth's support.

     Take note of your breath in its natural state moving you.

     Close your mouth and lengthen your inhales and exhales.

     Hear a whispery sound coming from the back of your throat while you breathe in and out through your nose.

     The next time you inhale count to yourself 1,2,3

     Then pause and hold the breath for a count of 1,2,3

     Exhale for a count of 1,2,3

     Continue with this even length of inhale for 1,2,3

     Holding the breath drawing it in for 1,2,3

     Then exhale for 1,2,3

     Continuing on your own with an even length of inhale for 1,2,3 , then holding your breath for 1,2,3, and then an even length of exhale for 1,2,3.

     As this starts to feel like a natural rhythm, enjoy it for as long as you can maintain counting 1,2,3 to yourself. Eventually let the breath stretching go and return your breath to its natural state. Rest here for as long as you can.

     Try to do this breath exercise once a day.

     Wishing you and yours peace and calming days ahead.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Hello Note During an Uncertain Time

May All Beings Be Free from Suffering 


       It is an incredibly challenging time as most of us navigate our daily lives 100% from home as a result of the Covid-19/Corona Virus Pandemic. I'm sending this note to all of my beautiful readers to let you know that I am thinking of you and sending my love and best wishes to you and yours.

      The first week of March, I had my final breast reconstruction surgery. For those of you that don't know, in Jan. 2019 I was diagnosed with the Braca, female cancer gene from my Father's side. I have a very strong family history with female cancers, so I chose to go the radical prevention route. Yes, just like Angelina Jolie. I've had 3 preventative female cancer surgeries from March 2019-2020. I'll speak more about this in October. I'm sharing this experience because I was prepared emotionally and mentally to be off of work for 6 weeks, and out of my regular routine during this time. I sympathize with the shock you must have felt last week when all non essential businesses were ordered to be closed. Nearly everyone I know is working online or finding a way to work online.

      Technically I'm still recovering from surgery and gratefully it's going well. Therefore my online offerings for now will be limited to blogging and I'm sharing almost daily on Instagram. You can follow me @allisonegandatwani and I will be happy to follow you back and get to know you. Also my youngest son is in 3rd grade, so I'm doing the homeschool lifestyle too! It is quite the wake up call and kind of fun at the same time.

      As we all come to terms with the uncertainty of our health, our neighbor's health, the economy and asking questions of "What will next week bring?" and "How can I move with strength and grace in this new reality?" I will continue to share as I always do at Glamorous Yogini-inspiration on healing with nature, beauty, fitness, and yoga's wisdom that will support us and help us see the light as we move through these changes.

Have Courage!


Thursday, February 27, 2020

My Current Asana Crush: Dancing Shiva Pose Variations

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana/Revolved Dancing Shiva Pose and Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana/Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose



     Dancing Shiva Pose and variations of it (minus the hands binding) have been coming through my practice and into my class plans. It must be that knowing that Spring is on its way and my body just wants to imitate what the daffodils are about to do. Let go of the constraints of Winter and start seeing what was born in darkness begin to manifest with the sunny days ahead.

See you on the mat at www.bamboomovesenglewood.com and www.birchwoodcenter.com



Wednesday, February 19, 2020

2nd Chakra Meditation to Empower Your Imagination and Aspirations

Sitting in the Svadhisthana, Sacral Chakra Yantra (geometric diagram)

   
     
        Below is a variation of a meditation I shared during the Svadhisthana, 2nd Chakra teaching at Birchwood Center in Nyack, NY. If you are interested in learning more about your energy body please join us on Wednesday evenings until March 25th from 6:30pm-8:30pm where each week there's a focused teaching about the chakra of the week. Please see birchwoodcenter.com for more details and to register.


       During this meditation we will explore and expand on your relationship to your creativity and passions.

       Take a comfortable seat.

       Notice how you feel in this moment.

       Locate your 2nd Chakra in your lower abdomen area. This area is where we create and bring ideas into life.

       Close your mouth and take a deep inhale and exhale through your nose.

       Repeat 3 more deep breaths as you visualize your breath as water cleansing and strengthening you.

       Acknowledge what you are passionate about.

       Visualize what you wish to create.

       Use your imagination to expand on this image.

       Deepen your next inhale and when you exhale sense a mist of orange spinning light in your lower abdomen area.

       Take another inhale and deep exhale visualizing this orange mist of light moving beyond your pelvic body and moving throughout your whole being, cleansing and strengthening you.

       Allow this energy to flow through you and through the things you aspire to create.

       See your passions growing and expanding without limits as you move deeper into your meditation.

       Sit for a while.

       Take a few deep breaths while making gentle movement to come out of your meditation.

       Before moving on with your day repeat the affirmations "I am creative." "I am passionate." "I am limitless."


        

Friday, February 7, 2020

Yoga's Subtle Body, an exploration of the Chakras/a 7 week course at Birchwood Center in Nyack, NY

I'm seated in Malasana/Garland Pose with a variation of the 2nd Chakra's Yantra/Geometric Diagram



    Yoga's Subtle Body, an exploration of the Chakras is a special 7 week course because it will offer you plenty of knowledge about the 7 Chakras. It will expand your consciousness and strengthen you in certain parts of your body that maybe neglected in a more regular yoga practice. Each class will focus on one of the seven chakras. The classes will consist of a description and discussion about the chakra of the evening. There will be an asana practice rich in postures, meditation, and pranayama dedicated to that chakra plus a special reflection at the end of the session to deepen your understanding of the chakra.

    We will meet at Birchwood Center in Nyack, NY for 7 Wednesdays from 6:30pm-8:30pm starting February 12th-March 25th. Each class will be led by a different teacher. I will be teaching the 2nd session Wednesday Feb. 19th. This class is dedicated to the 2nd Chakra, Svadhisthana Chakra which is found within the hips and sacral part of the body. During the physical portion of this class we will work towards a peak posture that correlates to the 2nd Chakra. Practicing this way will help you understand where the chakra is located and how it moves within the body. You will also be moving through different expressions of the poses that will help to open and balance the chakra.

    Opening and strengthening the hips can be challenging so I will be offering variations and modifications of the poses throughout the practice. I will also demonstrate and encourage the use of yoga props like blankets and blocks. 

    This 7 week course is Open to everyone! Yoga Teachers can receive 14 CEU's from the Yoga Alliance for completing the full 7 week course. You are welcome to join us for one or more sessions

    Please visit www.birchwoodcenter.com  for more information and to register.



Saturday, February 1, 2020

Valentine's Day Couple's Yoga ages 10 and up at Birchwood Center




     Valentine's Day is coming soon. Are you looking for something special to do with a loved one? The Couple's Yoga event I'm leading Saturday February 15th at Birchwood Center in Nyack, NY will be both a peaceful and playful experience the two of you can treasure in your hearts forever.

      This Couple's Yoga event is designed for couples and partners ages 10 and up. It is for all levels and will be perfect for someone who is brand new to yoga. Also if you are a yoga teacher and you want to learn how to teach partner yoga this event will be a nice example.


      In this heart opening class you will ground, center and warm up alongside your partner, followed by easy partner yoga poses that will relax your neck and shoulders and strengthen and stretch your back body. We will conclude our practice with a nurturing restorative pose and final relaxation. Participants are invited to stay for refreshments and community after class.

     

Please visit www.birchwoodcenter.com for more information and to register.


Friday, January 17, 2020

February's Special Events- Couple's Yoga and the 2nd Chakra at Birchwood Center in Nyack, NY



     Valentine's Day is coming soon. Are you looking for something special to do with a loved one? The Couple's Yoga event I'm leading Saturday February 15th at Birchwood Center in Nyack, NY will be both a peaceful and playful experience the two of you can treasure in your hearts forever.

      This Couple's Yoga event is designed for couples and partners ages 10 and up. It is for all levels and will be perfect for someone who is brand new to yoga. In this heart opening class you will ground, center and warm up alongside your partner, followed by easy partner yoga poses that will relax your neck and shoulders and strengthen and stretch your back body. We will conclude our practice with a nurturing restorative pose and final relaxation. Participants are invited to stay for refreshments and community after class.


     

Please visit www.birchwoodcenter.com for more information and to register.


     The 2nd special teaching I'm offering this February is part of a series of classes called Yoga's Subtle Body, an Exploration of the Chakras. This is a seven week course takes place on Wednesdays from 6:30pm-8:30pm at Birchwood Center in Nyack, NY. Here we will travel the upward path of light as we explore the seven chakras in seven classes. Come learn about the seven vital energy centers that align with the spine and be inspired to examine yourself on a multidimensional level. Each evening will investigate a single chakra with readings, discussion, a full asana class and other thought provoking experiences. These teachings are open to anyone who's interested in learning more. Yoga teachers can receive 14 CEUs from the Yoga Alliance for the full seven week course.


      I will be guiding you through the 2nd Chakra Wednesday February 19th from 6:30pm-8:30pm.


Please visit www.birchwoodcenter.com for more information such as dates, times, price and of course the fantastic teachers who are contributing to this very special course.