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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Calling on the Goddess Hecate

As the sun moves through Scorpio and my birthday comes around, I'm feeling grateful and a bit nervous about my next year's journey around the sun. A few choices have presented themselves to me and I need to pick one. Juggling is no longer an option as focus is needed, at least for a season's length period of time.

Over the weekend, on Sunday's New Moon and partial solar eclipse I'm calling on the Grecian triple Goddess Hecate. She reigns over the 3 phases of the moon, new, half and full. Besides her moon association her triple Goddess status also refers to the fact that she has the wisdom of the three cycles of a woman's life. Maidenhood, Motherhood and being a Crone. On Sunday I'm planning on meditating deeply as I stand at my crossroads with Hecate's lantern light and receive the boon of where to go.

If you're seeking guidance, call on Hecate.

Preparation for urdhva mukha paschimottanasana 1, upward facing forward bend.

Urdhva mukha paschimottanasana 1, upward facing forward bend

Ubhaya padangusthasana, big toe pose Tights www.carmenandersonny.etsy.com sweater www.zara.com booties www.ninewest.com earrings www.charmingcharlie.com nail polish www.nailtini.com bangle, gifted 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tone Your Lower Body w/Yoga & Ayurveda Workshop

During fall and winter, the elements air and space reign. Ayurveda, a natural medicinal practice from southern India calls it the Vata season. A time when our schedule overloads, our skin dries out and our appetite craves cozy comfort food while cold dry wind combs the leaves from the trees.

As we bring most of our energy inside to welcome the harvest's fruitful dark, the end of the year can offer an anxious frenzy that can lead to a whole host of unbalanced feelings such as stress, anxiety, panic, insomnia, fatigue, depression and constipation (a common cold weather digestive ailment.) What to do? Follow Mother Nature's cue as she moves into a still point and ground like her. Listen to your inner and outer worlds that are yearning for peace and turn towards what wants to be birthed. Strengthen your roots for its arrival by practicing lower body focused Yoga and applying Ayurveda's natural wisdom.

In this workshop you will be introduced to Ayurveda then led through a 1 hour and 30 minute yoga practice threaded with Ayurveda's insight.

Here you will ground and strengthen your lower body.

Release lower back and hip tension.

Learn what natural foods to eat to soften your skin, decrease high calorie comfy food cravings and regulate elimination.

You will also discover what natural products to use to moisturize your skin and elevate your mood.

As well as take a short written test to find out your dosha type.

Saturday November   9th   4 pm   2 hrs   www.bamboomovesenglewood.com  Englewood, New Jersey

Saturday November   16th   2 hrs   www.bamboomovesyoga.com   Forest Hills, New York

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Perfect Yoga Cover Wear

Nearly everyday is a yoga teaching day for me making my personal style accommodate wearing a yoga tank and tights under my clothes. Over the years tunics have proven to be the easiest cover up look however not every tunic works. Some are too boxy, long or short and can feel uncomfortable to wear as an extra layer of warmth when you start and finish class. Gratefully I'm wearing a perfect yoga tunic by CarmenAndersonNY.etsy.com It is a cowl neck tunic top which feels super soft like a second skin. It is perfect to wear all day long as the neck can be rolled down below the shoulders for a more dramatic evening look or pulled over the shoulders for a polished and chic everyday look. Also, I love the way the lines of this tunic flatter your figure without being overly clingy and revealing.

Cowl neck tunic top CarmenAndersonNY.etsy.com Carmen Anderson NY is an all year lounge wear line. 9 tops and 4 bottoms. All designed to enhance your beauty. Made with natural knit jersey materials, primarily modal, some rayon and tencel. It is sustainable clothing that is made 100% in NYC.

Yamadevasana 2, is pigeon pose taken to the next level. This pose is dedicated to the sage Yamadeva. Tights www.zara.com earrings www.lailarowe.com bangles, gifted

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Getting Stronger with Seated Postures

Seated postures are typically practiced towards the end of class. When I'm running out of class time, I may leave them out or quickly teach a simple seated pose before moving into a final relaxation pose. These days as my schedule has me stepping into new territory as the new norm and the wind that combs the leaves from the trees is only getting stronger, I'm finding I need to sit, rest and ground more often during my yoga practice.

To satisfy my need to feel grounded, I've been starting my yoga practice and classes on the ground with a gentle version of a very complex seated posture like marichyasana 2 pose which you see in this post. After practicing some light and easy to do seated work, I continue to warm up with Sun Salutations, a standing series and then make it back onto the floor for a deeper expression of the seated pose. After a couple of weeks in a row of practicing different seated postures this way I'm feeling better, balanced and ready for what's ahead as I leave my mat.

Another thing I've noticed while practicing more seated postures is I'm getting stronger. Physically these postures elongate the spine, ease stiff knees and ankles, release the hips and groins, giving the body both the strength and flexibility it needs to sit, stand and walk around with ease. On a deeper level, when the body feels good it is easier to quiet the mind, let go and transform like the season.

Easy to do variation of marichyasana 2 pose. Start with an open twist.

1/2 bind

Front hand binds to back wrist. Use a strap if your hands don't meet.

Classically marichyasana 2 pose is done with the bottom bent knee in half lotus resting on the bound leg's groin. Realistically few can do this with ease and safety. My suggestion is to try this pose as shown here or note the first picture and the placement of my feet.

Plaid tights and white tank www.zara.com  Pastel blue and pink are this season's trend to mix with plaid. Here I'm wearing a vintage baby blue top bought years ago in Parisian boutique. Mala, bracelet and earrings gifted. Bloody Mary nails www.nailtini.com boots www.forever21.com vintage Gucci tote

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chakra/Energy Body Paperless Workshop Notes

Chakras which means 7 wheels of energetic light that run up our spine and beyond our skull is a yoga subject that comes easy to me. One that I can speak about with great ease therefore I'm so grateful that Ramapo College of New Jersey keeps on inviting me to teach about the chakras each Fall.

Since yoga refers to the chakra system as being part of the subtle body, meaning it is not obvious, my suggestion in learning about the chakras is to feel and experience them while practicing yoga postures. In other words try not to over analyze them. After all chakras are energy, so understanding them is meant to be abstract. For this reason I generally make references to images in nature as physical chakra examples. Within this post is a collection of nature pictures followed by a brief chakra description that may help your chakra study.

The red leaves pictured above represent muladhara chakra, the 1st chakra. It is red in color and is referred to as the root chakra as it is associated with the earth element. The root chakra is located at the base of our pelvis and governs the energy within our lower limbs. It embodies all emotions related to our family, money, home and survival. When our root chakra is off balance it is difficult to move forward. Symptoms maybe an aching knee, tight hamstrings or a flat tire.

Svadhistana chakra is the 2nd chakra. It is orange in color and is associated with the water element. Found in the reproductive body this chakra is where our likes and dislikes are formed. Liking on Facebook, enjoying a cup of coffee and admiring the person who just walked by comes from this energy center. As a result of the second chakra being responsible for our likes and interests this is the physical area from where our creativity as well as babies are born.

Manipura chakra is our 3rd chakra and is yellow in color. It is located below our sternum and above our navel. This energy center is from where the sun's golden rays enter us and ignites our inner fire. Sometimes our light is dim and feelings of depression and anxiety swell while on other days our fire is raging inside and our inner flames makes our head burn. This would be the day when our ego, anger, jealousy or other vices block our way. As yogis we strive for the golden middle. To have an inner light that isn't to low or high. When this center is balanced we can truthfully and peacefully move forward.

Anahata Chakra is our 4th chakra. It is related to the air element and is located in the center of our chest and shoulder blades. Green in color this energy center is from where we receive and give love and abundance. Our 4th chakra moves beyond our heart and shoulder blade's center and through our shoulders, arms and hands. When this center is off balance our arms maybe sore from helping others most of the time or weak as a result of not giving enough love to our self.

With this being said I have a theory of my own where I believe there is another ray of swirling light emerging from just above our 4th chakra. It is in the area of our chest where a pendant of a necklace falls. I see this center as pink light that has the potential to blossom. It governs all feelings associated with self love, hope and doubt. When this center is off balance it is high time to set some boundaries, sit in a hot tub or ashram like retreat and give to yourself. Once you feel whole and healed, then you can take care of others.

Vishuddha chakra is our 5th chakra. Blue in color it is associated with space and ether. Found in our throat it is from where our inner speech meets the outer world. When it is off balance our communication is not truthful. A sore throat, congestion, loss for words and stuttering from a chakra healing viewpoint is caused by speaking from your ego, remember the third chakra's high burning flames and being ruled by anger, greed, lust and jealousy. To speak in good health you need to study you and learn your truth. This isn't easy and doesn't just come to you overnight but if you start with speaking words that feel good in your gut then you're on the right path to being a wordsmith.

Ajna chakra is our 6th chakra. Purple in color, it like our throat chakra is associated with space and ether. Ajna chakra is found within our third eye. The area between our brow line. It is from where our vision can be clear or clouded. When it is off balance we see what causes us pain and suffering as only being negative. When this chakra is open and healthy we see everything that is good, bad and neutral as beautiful because it is part of the higher plan. This sentiment is why my site Glamorous Yogini posts beauty, no matter what is going on. It doesn't mean that pain and suffering is avoided. Rather it is felt, processed and understood to be just like any other step on the path. Ajna chakra also governs beyond the third eye and into our sinuses and ears. Meaning you can hear sweetness or fowl sounds. It is up to you.

Sahasrara chakra is our 7th chakra. It is found at the crown of our head. It like our 5th and 6th chakras is made up of space and ether. White light in color, I like to call this energy center from where we like our computer is either connected or not to the internet. In our case our connection is to the world beyond our everyday life. When we are connected to others we realize that the little piece of paper we threw on the street isn't serving our community or working for only our personal benefit isn't going to help the world move forward. If your days are only about you perhaps you suffer from headaches and dizziness, signs of lack of connection. Practicing headstands along with other inversions can help in balancing your crown chakra because they make you focus, more courageous as well as shift your perspective. However I find spending some quiet time with yourself and analyzing if your thoughts, words and actions come from a whole hearted space or not is the best way you can heal, open and connect your crown chakra to what's beyond your reality. My suggestion is to meditate on a regular basis to get this chakra working.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Poncho Perfect Weather

I grew up in a drafty old house. Being half Ecuadorian my Mother equipped our family with authentic Andean ponchos to keep us warm inside our house during the coldest of winter days. Everyone including my Dad wore one until I declared them uncool and went the sweatshirt route. Now I see them as being beyond cool, they're extremely chic. Particularly now as it is not so cold outside and wearing a puffy warm jacket is not necessary. These days I'm wearing ponchos as often as I can to cover up my yoga tank and tights look.

Poncho from 2010 www.forever21.com red and blue sheer baby doll top www.urbanoutfitters.com tights www.zara.com necklace and earrings www.lailarowe.com silver cuff, gifted, vintage purse

Sitting in bharavajasana 2/diamond sage pose. I love this pose because it opens up my neck and shoulders like no other. Also this pose is a seated hip opener that is fall perfect as it is grounding to do during a busy time of year.