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

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.


Thursday, January 2, 2020

When There's a Will, There's a Way-January's Yoga and Fitness Teaching Schedule plus a New Year's Flow Special Event at Bamboomoves Yoga



      When there's a will, there's a way is a saying that means if someone is determined to do something they will accomplish it regardless of the obstacles. It's been my current mantra and I find it to be perfect for accompanying my New Year's wishes as I take a fresh and updated approach to my self care practice and overall lifestyle.


       If you're looking to renew your yoga and fitness vows to yourself regardless of all the things that get in the way of you achieving them, I will be leading a very special New Year's Flow event at Bamboomoves Yoga in Englewood, NJ this coming Saturday Jan. 4th from 2pm-4pm called Ignite Your Light. In this class we will have a nice thorough wring out of the entire body with a little extra attention to our core body, our 3rd chakra, the energy center yoga philosophy suggests our will is born. We will have meditative pauses to move towards greater clarity, revisit our New Year's wishes, set our intentions and embody what we wish to attract in 2020. Please visit www.bamboomovesenglewood.com for more information and to register.


      If you're looking for morning and midday classes here's my Monday- Friday teaching schedule at Birchwood Center for Yoga and Massage in Nyack, NY and Bamboomoves Yoga in Englewood, NJ:



Mondays 10am Level 1 Creative Core Conditioning 1hr

An upbeat barefoot body sculpting class which focuses on strengthening your abdomen and lower back as well as toning your buttocks, chest and arms.

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY



11:45am Easy Flow 1hr 15min

A step up from gentle yoga with easy to follow yoga flow sequences and meditative moments. 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY




Tuesdays 9:15am Level 2/3 Vinyasa Yoga 1hr 30min

Alignment Based Vinyasa Flow style yoga with Iyengar Yoga style peak pose breakdowns. 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY




12noon Gentle Warrior 1hr 30min 

Like a level 1 posture class with Sun Salute variations, restorative yoga, meditation, breath work and no inversions. 

www.bamboomovesenglewood.com Englewood, NJ




Wednesdays 11:45am Easy Flow 1hr 15min 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY




Thursdays 9:15am Level 2/3 Creative Core Conditioning 1hr 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY




12noon Gentle Warrior 1hr 30min 

www.bamboomovesenglewood.com Englewood, NJ




Fridays 9:30am Level 2/3 Vinyasa Yoga 1hr 30min 

www.birchwoodcenter.com Nyack, NY



Thursday, December 26, 2019

Ignite Your Light-A Special New Year's Flow Workshop at Bamboomoves Yoga

     

    The New Year carries the light and promise of the year ahead. It's a perfect time to get clear, set intentions and embody what you wish to attract in 2020. Saturday January 4th from 2pm-4pm I will be leading a special event called Ignite Your Light-A Special New Year's Flow Workshop at Bamboomoves Yoga in Englewood, NJ 

In this Workshop we will:


    Move through a yoga flow which is designed to physically strengthen and stretch our 3rd chakra. It is our sun energy center which is found within the belly, side waist and lower back. The third chakra is the energy center from which yoga suggests your knowing of yourself, your gut instinct and personal power is born. It is the area from which your New Year's dreams are realized.

    We will have meditative pauses to reflect on our New Year's wishes and envision our actions to receive them.


    Realize how a clear mind can nourish and maintain a healthy body.


    After the yoga flow rest in restorative postures and learn 5 techniques you can practice today to keep your dreams coming towards you while still living in the moment.


    This special class is designed to fit all levels.


Please join us Saturday January 4th from 2pm-4pm 

To register please visit www.bamboomovesenglewood.com


Friday, December 20, 2019

Winter Solstice Meditation




     During this longest night of the year consider getting to know the darkness as a meditation practice. Turn off all the lights, phones and unplug everything that's waiting on standby for you like your TV and computer. Our modern ways wants us connected and dialed into the program. It wants us to fear darkness, forget stillness and welcome everything the busy Holiday Season has to offer.

     Getting still and welcoming the season's darkest days can be healing. Feelings like cleaning the slate, returning to the womb or cave, and starting anew come to mind. I know I seek attuning to nature's quietude this time of year when I retreat with my family on holiday. Far away from city lights at night in the woods or at the beach I look towards that ink blue sky and embrace with awe, nature in its stillness.

     Tonight the darkest night of the year including the next few nights leading up into the New Year, sit in the dark with yourself. You can try an outdoor seated or standing meditation or keep it cozy and warm indoors. If indoors sit cross legged or go into a restorative yoga pose like legs up the wall or rest on your back in savasana, corpse pose. Consciously slow down your breathing by closing your mouth and take 3 long deep nose breaths and then let your breath be natural. Notice your heart rate responding and slowing down. Be aware of your eyes adjusting. As your pupils widen you will see more in the dark than moments before. Feel your surrender to the darkness create more spaciousness, strength and healing within you.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Bandhaspiration-Finding Your Locks

Maha Bandha/The Great Lock manifests when all 3 Bandhas activate


     Earlier this year I read a Top 10 list of what yoga teachers need to stop telling their students. On that list was stop cueing "Use your Bandhas!" I'm not here to shame anyone because I just love people who have the enthusiasm to share and practice yoga. I do however understand why the bandha cue made the list because it's a deep teaching that doesn't communicate clearly with a quick shout out like "Engage your Bandhas!" My feeling is using Sanskrit terminology like saying "Turn on your Bandhas!" is a fantastic thing to do however try to lead into this cue with a little yoga wisdom about the Bandhas and your students will be coming back for more.

     This past October I led an in depth teaching about the Bandhas at Ramapo College's 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. This post is a quick mini overview for the gang and your inspiration.

     To understand the Bandhas, a Sanskrit word which means your energetic locks, you may find it helpful to understand the Koshas. Yoga philosophy teaches that we have 5 Koshas which are sheaths which cover the Atman, the self. Imagine an onion and its many layers. We have layers too! The 5 layers are first the physical body layer called Anamaya Kosha. The energy body layer is called Pranayama Kosha followed by the mind and emotional body, Manomaya Kosha then the wisdom body, Vijnanmaya Kosha and finally the bliss body layer Anandamaya Kosha. 

     Envision yourself sitting in Pranayama Kosha. This is the energy body sheath which holds the chakras. It's the body of Prana where you have the network of Nadis, which means energy channels, that reside throughout the entire body from the outer edges to the core. The Sushumna, the central channel and most radiant of the nadis is found at the base of the pelvis and runs up the center of our being into Sahasrara chakra, found at our crown. Within the Sushumna Nadi, the central channel, we can experience the Bandhas, our energetic locks.

     Below are some pictures I highlighted with 3 different Bandha locations within our energy body. I included their names and brief notes about each. There's so much more I can share about this topic but I hope this gets you inspired for now.





     Mula Bandha is found at the base of the pelvis. It stops the downward breath at the base of the pelvis and redirects that breath upwards. Overtime and with plenty of practice you will find how to contract and release it. Eventually working with it will be less forced and more subtle.




     Uddiyana Bandha is the abdominal lock. It is the gesture in which the navel draws in and lifts the energy of Mula Bandha upwards.




     Jaladhara Bandha is mostly a gesture where the frontal brain is passive to meet the rising chest. A feeling of reverence will come over you as you sense holding energy within your heart.
   

     If you're looking to dive deep into yoga wisdom you may want to consider participating in a Yoga Teacher Training for the first half of 2020. I will be teaching in depth teachings about the Energy Body and Gentle Warrior wisdom which is a Level 1 practice which excludes inversions and includes a restorative pose, meditation and pranayama at Bamboomoves Yoga in Englewood, NJ's 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. This training is registered with the Yoga Alliance and begins on January 11th. Please see www.bamboomovesenglewood.com for more details.



Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Chakraspiration-last week's Workshop at Ramapo College of NJ

Twisted 1/2 Moon Pose/Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana variation



     Last weekend I led the Chakras teaching for Ramapo College of NJ's 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. This teaching was open to drop in students and we dove deep into our understanding of the chakras. I've posted this blog so you could have a little insight into chakra wisdom and so the attendees would have some basic online notes. Before I get to the chakras, I have 2 more teachings scheduled this October at the Krame Center at Ramapo College of NJ.


Vinyasa Yoga Workshop-How to Create a Class   Saturday Oct. 19th   from 2pm-6pm


Bandhas-Our Energetic Locks   Friday Oct. 25th   from 6pm-9pm


Please read my previous blog post for workshop descriptions.

$35 drop in fee
$10 College students

Please bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing to move in.

Visit www.ramapo.edu for more information.



                                                               
 CHAKRAspiration


     Chakras is a Sanskrit word which means wheels of light. We have many energy centers within our body yet there are 7 major energy centers you may find interesting to know about. These centers allow for a smooth flow of energy to move through you. When a chakra is blocked disease follows. When your chakras are open you experience good health.







     Muladhara means root support. It is the 1st chakra found at the base of the pelvis. It is red in color and its mantra is LAM. It is associated with our feelings about our home, family and money. To open this survival chakra you must ground yourself. Take off your shoes and socks, stand barefoot on the earth and take 3 deep breaths. Notice how you feel.







     Svadhisthana means the sweet abode of self. It is the 2nd chakra found within the reproductive body. It is orange in color and its mantra is VAM. This chakra deals with sensuality and creativity. You need to have a healthy attitude towards yourself to balance this center. Once you love your body the 2nd chakra opens up. Here you will feel confident. This confidence will deepen your relationships and encourage you to share whatever it is you create.







     Manipura means the city of the shining jewel. It is the 3rd chakra found around your navel. It is yellow in color and its mantra is RAM. This chakra governs your identity. Where you say "I am this" and "I am that." It's your power center. How to open it is to meditate and pay attention to your gut. You have a mini brain in there called your intuition. Does it say yes or no?







     Anahata means the sound of two things not hitting each other. It is the 4th chakra found within the center of your chest and in-between your shoulder blades. It is green in color and its mantra is YAM. This is the "I love" chakra. To open your heart to love you must first love yourself. Plenty of self care like eating well, exercising, sleep and doing what you love are acts of self love. Once you have self love as a regular practice you can then have a full well to give love and serve others.








     Vishuddha means pure. It is the 5th chakra found within your throat. It is blue in color and its mantra is HAM. This chakra is associated with communication. To open this chakra you must be impeccable with your words. Say no when you feel no and yes when you feel yes. Say positive affirmations like "I can do this!" "I can do that!" Also there's a time to listen and not speak. All of this will help you heal and balance your throat chakra.



   
  



     Ajna means to know or to perceive. It is the 6th chakra and is found within the center of our eyebrows. It is purple in color and its mantra is OM. Also known as our 3rd eye, this chakra is associated with our intuition and imagination. This chakra opens when you question your reality. When you open your 3rd eye you see the many illusions of this world that trick you to buy this or do that. A good mantra to repeat to keep this center open is "Know Thyself" This will remind you to feel out everything and use your discernment when it comes to decision making. 








     Sahasrara means a 1,000 petaled lotus. It is the 7th chakra found at the crown of the head. It is white in color and its mantra is OM. This chakra connects us to the spiritual realm. Connecting to this center means detaching from this 3D realm and going 5D. A good way to do this is to retreat to the mountains, jump in the ocean or something closer to home like take a salt bath. When you open this center you are all about discovering the truth about everything. A sense of interconnection to everything in the universe moves through you.


     I hope you enjoyed these notes! See you on the mat!


   

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

3 Opportunities in October to Dive Deeper into your Yoga Studies with me at Ramapo College of New Jersey

Compass Pose/Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana



   Yoga is so much more than taking your leg and putting it over your shoulder like I'm pictured here in compass pose. I almost didn't post this picture because I thought it would intimidate. However I remembered how good I felt when I took this selfie. I took this picture after practicing yoga alone and creating my October choreography for my classes. At this moment my heart was wide open while I felt equally grounded and content. This reminds me of a beloved teacher, Dharma Mittra who shared that he took selfies of himself in postures long before there were iPhones. He only shared the pictures where he remembers connecting to his highest self while in the poses. A moment where judgment doesn't exist, just love. Dharma Mittra created the famous poster called the Master Chart of 908 Asanas which hangs in countless yoga school walls.

   Practicing yoga is a multilayered experience where so much is processed and it's never the same practice. If you are looking to go deeper in your study, this month I am teaching 3 special workshop classes at Ramapo College of New Jersey. These 3 workshops are part of Ramapo College's 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Since the topics I'm leading are popular my teachings are available for you to drop into at the Krame Center on campus for $35 a workshop. Below are the workshops, their dates and times with descriptions. Please bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing to move in. Also please visit www.ramapo.edu for more information.


   Friday   October 11th   from 6pm-9pm   Chakras


   Chakras means energetic wheels of light. In ancient India it was realized that there are energy centers within the body. These energy centers are responsible for letting a smooth flow of energy to move throughout your body. When they are blocked you can experience disease. When they are open and balanced good health ensues. In this workshop you will learn how to open the 7 chakras, how to balance them and the science of the chakras. This workshop is 1/2 lecture and 1/2 easy to follow yoga and meditation practice. Please bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothes to move in.



   Saturday   October 19th   from 2pm-6pm   Vinyasa Yoga Workshop- How to Create a Class


   Vinyasa is a style of yoga characterized by stringing postures together so that you move from one pose to another seamlessly using breath. It is commonly referred to as flow yoga. Vinyasa flow style classes offers a variety of postures and no two classes are ever exactly alike. As yoga has grown in popularity, Vinyasa yoga has been successful because it reaches a wide variety of levels who can benefit from either a slow, medium or a fast flow. The challenge is being the teacher who continuously comes up with safe and innovative flows, that stay true to classical yoga and keep people coming back for more.


 
    In this workshop:


    I will share and we will create sequences that have purpose.


    Examine the nature of the postures selected in the sequence.


    Understand why the postures in the sequence work well together.


     Refine and balance our sequences.


     Discuss how to notice the tempo that's best for your students.


     Please bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothes to move in.




     Friday   October 25th   from 6pm-9pm   Bandhas-Our Energetic Locks


     Bandhas means locks. More specifically the energetic locks that can be found within our body by controlling our breath. According to yoga we have several locks within our body we can contract to not let our energy spill out while we hold a pose and breathe in it. The benefit of having bandhas wisdom is that you will be able to hold poses and breathe in them longer, jump to the top of your mat from downward facing dog with little to no sound as well as be supported by your hands on the floor in downward facing dog and in arm balances without having your wrists and hands hurt. In this workshop you will learn how and when to use your bandhas while practicing yoga and meditation. This workshop is 1/2 lecture and 1/2 easy to follow yoga and meditation practice. Please bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothes to move in.