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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gratitude Reflection

Sunset Pond at the www.himalayaninstitute.org

This past week I've been including a moment of gratitude reflection during my yoga and meditation practice. Each time I sit with pondering gratitude I keep on coming up with the same image, my body. A body I've either sculpted, ignored or wished was different, I now view as a great gift that brings me to pick up my children, assist an elderly yoga student to lift her arms, to dance in yoga shapes that open my heart to believing all is well. It is my sacred space, my shrine, my avatar. Everything I experience in life is because of this body. It houses my breath, heart, nerves, strengths, weaknesses, dreams.... It is a blessing. I am forever grateful.

Please join me for my Gratitude Yoga Flow Thanksgiving Day special class Thurs. Nov. 26th at 9:30pm for 2hrs. Visit www.bamboomovesenglewood.com to register. Drop ins are welcome.

We are currently collecting nonperishable food and supermarket gift cards at Bamboomoves Yoga Englewood for our local food drive charity the Center For Food Action www.cfanj.org in Englewood, NJ.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mudra Magic

In preparation for last weekend's Bandhas and Mudras Yoga Workshop at Ramapo College of New Jersey I created some yoga art photography plus wrote a few notes on a handful of mudras to ease one's understanding of what can be an abstract topic. A good place to start is looking at your palm and the picture above.

According to yoga each finger embodies the energy of a different element in nature. To take this deeper, each element is associated with a particular chakra (energy center.) This makes each finger connected to a chakra or group of chakras. For example, the earth element found within the ring fingers is associated with the 1st chakra, Muladhara Chakra which originates at the base of the pelvis. The second chakra, Svadhisthana Chakra is found within the reproductive body and sacrum. It embodies the water element and is connected to the baby fingers. The third chakra, Manipura Chakra is your fire center. It is found within your belly and low back body. It is associated with your thumbs. Anahata Chakra, your fourth chakra is made up of the air element. It originates within the center of your chest and shoulder blades. Its finger association is the pointer fingers. Finally Vishudda Chakra, your fifth energy center, found within your throat, Ajna Chakra, your sixth chakra, found within your third eye and Sahasrara Chakra, your seventh chakra which is found sitting on the crown of your head are all linked to the element space. These top 3 chakras are connected to the middle fingers.

When you bring your fingers together in different combinations via mudras, which means hand gestures in Sanskrit, you awaken plenty of subtle body magic within and around your energy body. Below are a few of my most frequently practiced and taught mudras.

Jnana or called Gyan Mudra is the wisdom hand gesture.

Anjali Mudra is the hand gesture that holds your intentions and offers it out to manifest into reality.

Padma Mudra is the fully blossomed and connecting to the light lotus flower hand gesture. Although it is a lovely mudra, it like everyone else had move and heal through the muddy, joyful and mundane waters of life to be such a beauty. 

Uttarabodhi Mudra is the hand and arm gesture of supreme enlightenment. Do this mudra for a few moments and feel an uplifted mood come over you.

Ganesh Mudra is named after the Hindu elephant god. Do this mudra if you're looking for protection and assistance in creating your highest self's dreams into reality. Ganesha will stomp out obstacles on your path and also pick you up when you're feeling down.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Bandhas: Your Energy Body Locks

In preparation for my upcoming Bandhas and Mudras Yoga Workshop at Ramapo College of New Jersey on Friday November 13th at 6pm, I've created some yoga art photography and written a bit about each of the 3 energy body locks called the bandhas. I hope this post assists your understanding of what can be an abstract topic.

Mula Bandha

Mula is a Sanskrit word which means the root of a plant or tree. Bandha means lock. I like to think of it as a bridge you can sense in your inner subtle body that can take you to the other side with an upgrade that offers stability, calmness and improved concentration. Mula Bandha is found at the base of your torso. Your first yoga teacher may have taught you to contract your lower body like you're holding your pee to find it. Well, it is more than that and after some time has gone by of having a committed yoga and meditation practice it is worthwhile finding Mula Bandha so you can hold your postures longer, jump to the top of your yoga mat without hearing a thump, stand on one leg with greater stability plus balance on your hands and head without pain, sit in meditation longer, improve your urogenital health in addition to activate and heal muladhara chakra, the root chakra. This first energy center governs your feelings associated with your family, home and money. When the first chakra is stable and calm, life is more relaxed.

Uddiyana Bandha:

Uddiyana Bandha is an abdominal lock that can be described as tightening your belt on your next exhale and feeling your belly's fire morph into a bird that has flown up into your heart's space. You can contain this upward flying energy by ever so slightly dropping your chin down into Jalandhara Bandha, your chin lock. On your next inhale stretch your lowest ribs away from your hips, move your chin parallel to the floor then exhale draw your belly in and drop your chin a bit. Repeat. Using these subtle body energy locks are useful in strengthening your abdominal muscles, healing manipura chakra, the 3rd chakra, stimulating your thyroid, internally massaging your heart and lungs, improving your digestion and circulation plus lifting the energy of the lower belly to unite with the energies within the navel and heart.

Jalandhara Bandha:

Jalandhara Bandha means chin lock. It is when you drop your chin to point towards your chest. Here the mind meets the heart and the back of your neck breathes. Like tightening the cap to a water bottle to not spill anything out, you apply your chin lock after a big inhale accompanied with pulling your belly in on your exhale to keep your energy powerfully circulating within. Repeat by inhaling with your chin parallel to the floor while your belly stretches high and wide then exhale while synchronizing a little tilt of your chin downward and tightening your belt. Your throat lock exercises and heals your thyroid in addition to activating your communication energy center, vishuddha chakra, the 5th chakra.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What's New in November Yoga with Allison Egan Datwani

I hope you've been making the time to notice fall's trees making letting go look so good. Recently I've done a variety of releasing in several areas of my life and the sentiment of you need to let go to receive and then move courageously into what's new has plenty of positive meaning for me as of late. What helps me feel and process just about anything is my daily yoga and meditation practice. This month I've added another class to my weekly class schedule plus I have two special events coming up.

What's New in November:

I'm happily back to teaching yoga at www.birchwoodcenter.com in Nyack, New York on Friday's at 9:30 am for a level 2/3 class. It is a 1 hr and 30 min mindful, strong and creative yoga flow. This practice is designed for students with yoga experience.

I'm also teaching weekly classes at www.bamboomovesyoga.com in Englewood, New Jersey on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12 noon. The class is called Gentle Warrior. It is a slow, strong and creative yoga flow for 1 hr and 15 min. This practice is designed for all levels. Beginners and prenatal students are welcomed and loved!

My Bandhas and Mudras Magic Yoga Workshop is coming up Friday November 13th at 6 pm at Ramapo College of New Jersey in Mahwah, New Jersey. This 3 hour class is part of Ramapo College's 200 hour yoga teacher training which is also open to the public to learn and enjoy. It is 1/2 lecture and 1/2 yoga flow that is designed to fit all. Please bring a yoga mat and visit www.glamorousyogini.com for more details.

Finally please join me if you can at my Thanksgiving Day Gratitude Yoga Flow Class Thursday November 26th at 9:30 am for 2 hrs at Bamboomoves Yoga in Englewood, New Jersey. Here I will move you through a heart opening, designed for all levels vinyasa flow followed by restorative yoga to rest and reflect. We will conclude our practice with a meditative moment to internally count our blessings plus set an intention on how we can make a difference with compassionate action for the less privileged.

Please bring nonperishable food, supermarket gift cards and/or make a donation at our front desk to The Center of Food Action which is a local food drive charity located in our hometown Englewood, New Jersey. Please visit www.bamboomovesyoga.com and click into Englewood to register for this special class.