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

Thursday, November 15, 2018

3 Virtues- 3 Rituals Yoga Study Circle at Birchwood Center

Seeing light within the darkness with 3 Virtues- 3 Rituals.


     Seeing light within the darkness is so much better when you're not alone and rather with a loving and all embracing community like we have at Birchwood Center in Nyack, New York. This coming Friday evening Nov. 16th at 7pm-8:30pm, I'm leading a Yoga Study Circle called 3 Virtues- 3 Rituals. Here we will focus on 3 heart opening and healing meditative rituals to find Forgiveness, Compassion and Gratitude.

      First I will lead us through a Tonglen meditation. What is Tonglen meditation? Tonglen means taking and sending. Tonglen is a Buddhist heart healing meditation which enables us to take in pain and send out relief for ourselves, for other people and for the world. This loving kindness mediation helps us to realize and remember that we are not the only ones feeling pain and suffering. This practice helps us to think bigger and move out of our own misery, joy or neutral everyday feelings of boredom. Practicing Tonglen is a Compassion meditation which gives us a sense of shared humanity. This feeling of unity is what heals feelings of isolation, darkness and aggression that we feel.

      I will then lead us through a hand Mudra meditation which will focus on heart opening hand gestures. I will break down and explain each mudra followed by putting them all together into a hand yoga mudra flow. Anyone can do this practice. Its up to you to sit or stand. We will conclude this mudra flow with an easy to chant heart healing mantra.


     Finally I will lead us through a beautiful Gratitude/Forgiveness meditation that will prep your energy for the Thanksgiving Holiday ahead. Please join us and consider bringing a friend who you feel may benefit.


     Please visit birchwoodcenter.com to register for this special event.


Peace!


Monday, November 12, 2018

Bandhas/Inner Locks Yoga Wisdom





   This Bandhas post is inspired by my recent teaching about our inner energetic locks at Ramapo College of New Jersey's 200hr Yoga Teacher Training special Bandhas Study class. I hope these notes enlightens this topic. It sure takes imagination, patience and practice to embody these energetic teachings.

    In yoga we have the 5 Koshas. They are 5 body sheaths. The 1st is Annamaya Kosha which is the physical flesh and bones layer of us. Then there's the Pranayama Kosha which is the energy body sheath. It's considered our subtle body or you can call it our pranic body. Pranayama Kosha includes the nadis which are energetic channels that run through us. Sushumna nadi is the central channel which holds the chakras. Within Pranayama Kosha we also find the Vayus which are the 5 characteristics of our prana. You can visualize the 5 Vayus as energetic patterns that are found within the breathing cycle.








    At first there are 2 Vayus that are important to understand to connect to the Bandhas. Prana Vayu which is our inhale, originates at the diaphragm and moves upward to the collarbones and expands into the chest. Apana Vayu, the exhale is found in the navel and moves down into the pelvic floor. It is a downward and inward aspect of our breath. Mula Bandha is an energetic lock that stops that downward breath from spilling down and outward. Mula Bandha moves Apana Vayu up. It's an energetic concept which lightens one's jump to the top of the mat, assists you to lift your feet off the floor in crow pose and much more. When you find Mula Bandha there's a grace and a feeling of strength that comes over you. You can't miss it when it happens.








    Uddiyana Bandha is found in the navel center. Uddiyana means flying up. Imagine an energetic bird flying up from your core body and upward when you exhale. When you engage this mid body lock Samana Vayu, the belly breath aspect of your pranic body is stimulated. Engaging Uddiyana Bandha tones the abdomen and lower back in addition to healing and strengthening your digestive body.

     As we move up the Bandha body we arrive to the neck, where we find Jalandhara Bandha. It's a gesture. A subtle bowing of the chin. It's where the mind and eyes bow to the rising chest and heart. While practicing Pranayama, breath control, yoga philosophy suggests that the rising in breath needs to be redirected and contained within the torso by engaging Jalandhara Bandha. Visualize this Bandha as an energetic net which catches the in breath and lets all that good prana float around the throat which utilizes Udana Vayu as well as directs your healing prana to the chest to energize the heart center where you will find Vyana Vayu.

      There are so many layers to these energetic teachings. My suggestion in learning and embodying these Sanskrit words and energy body concepts is to simply show up on your mat and practice. Eventually you will feel it all.



Monday, November 5, 2018

November's Special Event Offerings

I'm wearing beautiful crystal healing Amazonite necklaces by my yogini friend Susan Durbec. You can find her creations on Facebook by liking her page Earthworks by Susan


 
      November's brighter mornings and darker nights makes winter and the New Year feel so near. Yet we have a little bit more time to reflect and let go of the past year before Thanksgiving starts the Holiday season. I have a few teachings I'm offering this November that just may prepare you to usher in 2019 from a grounded and peaceful state.


      Bandhas, Mudras and Vayus subtle body energy teachings Friday Nov. 9th  6pm-9pm at Ramapo College of NJ. This special class is 1/2 lecture and 1/2 posture and meditation practice. This teaching is designed for Ramapo College's 200hr Yoga Teacher Training and is available for drop in students. Please see ramapo.edu for more information.


      3 Virtues 3 Rituals is a Yoga Study Circle I'm leading Friday Nov. 16th  7-8:30pm at Birchwood Center for Yoga and Massage in Nyack, New York. As yogis and yoginis we strive to embody Compassion, Gratitude and Forgiveness. In this special class I will lead us through 3 different rituals which employ meditation, mudras and mantras to fully experience these three heart opening and healing virtues. Please visit birchwoodcenter.com for more information and to register.

 
     Gratitude Yoga Flow is a special Thanksgiving Day Class I'm teaching Thursday November 22nd  9:30am-11am at Bamboomoves Yoga in Englewood, NJ. It is an Open Level Vinyasa Flow class which is similar to a Level 1/2 class. This class will include a very special Gratitude inspired mediation while in a heart opening restorative yoga posture. Please visit bamboomovesenglewood.com for more information and to register.