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

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.