Healing and becoming whole with nature, beauty and yoga's wisdom.

Monday, November 20, 2017

My Thanksgiving Week Yoga Teaching Schedule

     There's always something to be grateful for. Let's celebrate it. If you have some free time this Thanksgiving week I would love to see you and your loved ones on the mat. If not have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday   9:15 am   Level 2/3   1 hr and 30 min   www.birchwoodcenter.com   Nyack, NY

                12 noon   Gentle Warrior   1 hr and 30 min    www.bamboomovesenglewood.com    Englewood, NJ   

Wednesday   11:45 am   Gentle Plus Yoga   1 hr and 15 min   www.birchwoodcenter.com   Nyack, NY 

Thursday   9:30am   Gratitude Yoga Flow Open Level (level 1/2)   1 hr and 30 min   www.bamboomovesenglewood.com   Englewood, NJ

Friday   9:30 am   Level 2/3   1 hr and 30 min   www.birchwoodcenter.com   Nyack, NY 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bandhas/Inner Locks Inspiration


     To understand the bandhas, our inner locks, we must tap into our energy body. The fastest way there is to sit still, close your mouth and deepen your breath through your nose. Eventually you can pause for a brief moment at the bottom of your exhales while contracting your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles as well as bowing your chin down to your chest. This action of contraction are the bandhas. However the work is refining your breath and finding the subtle muscular work needed to find your inner locks. This requires plenty of time studying with a skilled teacher and your imagination.

      This Bandhas post is inspired by my teaching last week about the inner locks at Ramapo College of New Jersey's 200hr Yoga Teacher Training special Bandhas Study class. Below are a few notes on our 3 most sought after inner locks:

Mula Bandha- 

     Mula means root or foundation. It is located within the perineum. A beginner way to find it is to contract your pelvic floor muscles. Overtime the contraction is more central within the perineal body and less focused within the anus and urogenital muscles. The benefits of engaging mula bandha is our exhale, our downward wind called apana vayu meets our inhale, our upward wind called prana vayu. This meeting creates that wonderful and healthy yoga bliss zone state that keeps us coming back for more yoga.

Uddiyana Bandha-

      Uddiyana means flying upward. To find it contract your abdominal muscles in and upwards after a complete exhalation. This lock sits within our fire center, our third chakra. This bandha burns the impurities that weigh us down and replenishes our well. Engaging this lock strengthens the core body and massages the heart.

Jalandhara Bandha-

      Jala means a net or web. To find it drop the chin to the chest. This energetic net catches the nectar, amrita that drips down from the crown chakra. This nectar would be burned within the fire of the belly if this lock is not engaged. Jalandhara bandha regulates blood flow to the heart, neck and head. Similar to mula bandha, engaging jalandhara bandha encourages the upward wind, prana vayu to meet with the downward wind apana vayu. This union balances our energy in a beautiful way.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Bandhas Yoga Study at Ramapo College of NJ

Containing your Inner Light

     After taking your first few yoga classes you will start recognizing the Sanskrit words that are being used. Words like prana, namaste and Om are most likely said during class even if your teacher chooses not to speak much Sanskrit. Eventually you will hear "engage your bandhas." This is a popular cue that means way more than squeezing your pelvic body, abs and dropping your chin down to your chest. However doing all that squeezing on the bottom of your exhales is a good place to start. Over time those bandha contractions become more subtle and the energetic result of engaging your bandhas creates a distinctive and positive energetic shift.

      To start the definition of bandhas is locks. More specifically the energetic locks that can be found within our body by controlling our breath. Traditionally bandhas were considered powerful and advanced Tantric practices that were done for positively affecting your body's subtle energy and not for structural support while standing in Warrior poses and beyond. Classically it is only called bandha work if it is practiced in a seated position with a purpose of energy management by way of breath work.

      However I'm guilty of so many times in class saying "engage your bandhas" as a quick cue to encourage my students to contract their pelvic floor, abdominals and neck muscles while in more difficult postures. I guess you can call an "engage your bandhas" cue while in a Warrior pose, a bandha like movement or simply a pelvic, abdominal and possibly a neck contraction. Trust me, there's a benefit to the quick and easy "engage your bandhas" cue whether you are seated in its cross legged origins or sustaining a Warrior pose. We will talk more about this distinction and the specifics of the bandhas, their energy body anatomy, benefits and easy to understand ways to teach and practice bandha work this coming Friday Nov. 10th 6-9pm at Ramapo College of NJ within the Krame Center. This special Bandha Yoga Study class is part of Ramapo College of NJ's 200hr Yoga Teacher Training and is open to drop in students.

    Please visit www.ramapo.edu for more information.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Bandhas/Inner Locks Yoga Study Fri. Nov. 10 at Ramapo College of New Jersey

Containing your Light

         As your yoga practice progresses you will eventually hear your yoga teacher say "Use your bandhas." You're not alone if you heard this and internally asked yourself "What?" Yoga philosophy teaches that we have 5 layers of being called the Koshas. The first layer is the physical flesh and bones part of us and the second layer is our life force which is referred to as Pranayama Kosha. This life force or you can call it vital energy can be described as the energy which resides within our breath and heartbeat. Within this life force/pranayama layer of us is where we can start to talk about our bandhas, the inner locks. The bandhas are energetic locks we can turn off and on to let's say contain and refine our use of our vital energy.

        I do love the subtle energy body teachings of yoga and I'm happy to share that on Friday Nov. 10th 6-9pm at Ramapo College of New Jersey within the Krame Center in Mahwah, NJ I will be leading a very special teaching on this information where we will discuss and explore the koshas, vayus, mudras, chakras and yoga postures as a means to deeply understand the bandhas. This 1/2 lecture and 1/2 easy to follow physical posture practice is part of Ramapo College's 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. This special class is open to drop in students. Please join us if you are interested.

       Please visit www.ramapo.edu for more details