Healing

Sound Healing and Meditation This Friday!

Sound Healing with Quartz Crystal Bowls combines sound and vibration to foster a sense of deep peace and greater harmony on all levels. During this season of giving and joy, of drawing friends and family near, it is important to remember that self-care is a necessity. You have more and better to give to all you do when you are taking steps to maintain balance and well-being in your life. After all, you can’t give those pies away until the apples have been lovingly fed, watered and tended within, right? Please bring a yoga mat or a blanket so you can rest comfortably. Chairs will also be provided if you prefer to sit in a chair. No prior experience with yoga or meditation is required.

Date: Friday, November 24th

Time: 4-4:30pm

Location: Babies in Bloom, 1948 Via Centre, Vista CA

Admission is $5.

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hOMework: Brahmacharya

Repost from my teacher training hOMework:

Brahmacharya has always been the most abstract yama for me. And, I’ve heard it defined many different ways. Moderation? Celibacy?? Continence? I wasn’t even sure of the meaning of that one- really, what does that mean? Words are a favorite pastime of mine, especially the etymology of words. So, I did what I do, and sure enough! Continence comes from Latin ‘continens’ [con (with) + tenere (to hold)]. To hold within? To contain. I’ve often heard Brahmacharya associated with one’s ‘vital energy’. So, is it about containing my vital energy? What is my vital energy? Can I feel it? After considering this, I decided that I can feel my vital energy, and I feel it most powerfully after meditation, asana, and spiritual practices. Also, I feel its absence in other situations when I feel ‘zapped’. Deflated.

My bodies are a heart-shaped balloon. My vital energy inflates it and keeps it aloft. When I step away from my Sadhana, I begin to lose altitude. Challenges in ‘the real world’ cause my mind to stress, worry, and plan. My balloon starts sinking toward the briar patch.

This week, I decided to stay in touch with my vital energy and monitor what inflates my balloon and what torpedoes it. I was amazed at how much I could feel my balloon rise and fall. I began charting its ups and downs and listing the associated activities. As the list began to grow, I noticed that their labels could also be ‘sattvic things’ and ‘tamasic things’. I began focusing on bringing a sattvic quality to my actions, thoughts, food, intention, etc. I felt my balloon soaring! As it would dip, I noticed that a rajasic or tamasic thought would usually initiate the drop, so I focused on stopping my mind at the first negative thought and countering it with an affirmation that would pump the balloon back up.

It didn’t take long to realize that coming back to Source and giving Source its proper due was the key to smooth sailing. In fact, Source is the One filling up the balloon. When it comes to sailing over the briar patch, a simple ‘I love you, Shakti. You’re doing a great job’ works better than any amount of effort. For me, Brahmacharya is about conserving our vital energy so that we may redirect it back to Source. Any action that is not feeding that reciprocal exchange is like throwing gold into the abyss. My experiments in vital energy this week showed me very clearly that any kind of excess or action that feeds the ego has the net result of one droopy little balloon. Stick with sattva! Stick with Source! Fly high!

Love and blessings-
Holly

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Sleep Like a Baby… Yoga for Better Sleep

We’ve all heard that getting adequate sleep is crucial to our overall health and well-being. Just one night of insufficient sleep can lead to moodiness, poor mental clarity and focus, and low physical energy. A prolonged pattern of sleep deprivation can even put us at a greater risk for certain diseases and health disorders.

As a new mom, I am more aware than ever of the rejuvenating, restoring bliss that is a good night’s sleep. One way I make the most of the precious hours of sleep I get is to take a few moments before bedtime to practice yoga postures that promote healthy, restful sleep. Here are a few of my favorites that can be done in the comfort of your bed!…

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle): This is my absolute favorite! I love this asana as a cool down during my classes, and it is a great way to wind down from your day as well. You can even use the pillows from your bed to enjoy a restorative version of the posture. It not only stretches the hips and groin area, which are areas where many of us hold tightness and tension, but it relaxes the mind and the sympathetic nervous system and promotes balance throughout the entire body. I find that placing one hand on the heart and the other on the abdomen is especially soothing. With the hands in place, focus on the rise and fall of the chest and abdomen as you breathe. And watch yourself drift into deeper and deeper relaxation…
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend): This asana is very calming for the central nervous system. It reduces anxiety, helping you to unwind. Physically, it stretches nearly all of the back body, from the Achille’s tendon into the upper back. For this reason, allow yourself to ease into the posture and watch the body open as you remain in the forward fold. Again, focus on the breathing for a deeper, more soothing experience of the asana- growing longer and more spacious on the inhale and relaxing and melting on the exhale. You can use pillows for a supported, restorative version, placing them along your legs and folding onto them.
Balasana (Child’s Pose): Child’s pose is commonly known as a resting posture. It is where I instruct my students to go if they need to rest or recenter during class. It has additional benefits, though, including a gentle stretch for the lower back, hips, feet, and ankles and a relaxing effect for the neck and shoulders. Child’s pose is said to balance all seven of the subtle body’s main chakras, or energy centers, and calm the central nervous system. Again, pillows may be used as a prop if your forehead does not comfortably reach to the bed. Place a pillow between your knees and lay over it, turning the head to one side.
Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall Pose): This one only works if your bed is against a wall, but it is wonderfully relaxing if you are able to do it. Viparita Karani is essentially a very, very gentle version of shoulderstand. It comes with the benefits of an inversion without the exertion that most inversions require. Having the feet raised allows the bloodflow to move into the upper body, which is deeply rejuvenating. Use a folded blanket under the pelvis. This elevates the heart above the head, moving circulation into the head and helping you to relax.
Reclining Twists: Reclining, or supine, twists are a great way to stretch the back after a long day. The twisting action in the abdomen also aids digestion. If it feels okay for your neck, take your gaze in the opposite direction of the knees. This creates a spiral from the tailbone up to the crown of the head. If you have any neck sensitivity at all, keep your gaze either straight up or toward the same direction as the legs.

So, there you have it, my friends. Move through some or all of these asanas as you prepare for sleep and make the most of those hours you get. Gotta go now… time for a nap!

(Looking to get the gear to take sleepytime to the next level? Check out Casper mattresses… and thanks to them for inspiring this post!)

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New Weekly Class on Monday!

Create a solid foundation for your week with this hour-long yoga practice. A thorough, thoughtful warmup builds to an invigorating vinyasa sequence, with careful attention to breathing, alignment, and mind/body awareness. Finally, as class concludes, a cool down including restorative postures facilitates deep opening, relaxation, and rejuvenation. This class is appropriate for students of all levels of experience.

Hello, yoga lovers! Well, baby man is three months old now, and I am slowly regaining my strength and focus (hello, sleep deprivation!!…). The opportunity has arisen to begin teaching a weekly class on Monday evenings. I hope you will be to drop in and check it out!

Energize and Restore is a new weekly class at Ascension Holistic Healing Center in Bonsall, CA. It is a great little space, adjacent to a new age bookstore and cafe, next to the Bonsall Post Office on Highway 76.

This class will meet on Mondays at 6:30pm for one hour. The drop-in fee is $10, but class packages are also available. You can find more information about those here on Ascension’s website.

I’m so happy to have this opportunity to ease my way back into teaching again now that I am a momma of two. I hope that you join me and support this new adventure!

See you on the mat, my friends!!

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Kamelien loves you!

The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life; hold on, for the promise from the wild nature is this: after winter, spring always comes.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With Wolves

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Kamelien loves you!

Generosity is not a way of life, but the way of life. As the Buddha said, ‘Many garlands can be made from a heap of flowers. Many good deeds should be done by one born a mortal.’ Many of the great spiritual masters encourage people to give without strings attached- to do good just for the sake of doing good. Long before we get to the point of being able to provide higher, invisible acts of power, we need to provide visible ones. We need to delight in helping someone heal or in creating wonderful surprises for others. These are the means through which we discover the enchantment of giving as well as the gift of receiving.

~Caroline Myss, PhD, Invisible Acts of Power

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Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

It’s here!

The spring equinox is Wednesday… ’tis the season for new beginnings and renewal.

Doreen’s reading this week blends quite nicely with my personal theme for the week: spring cleaning. I’ll have much more to say about this as the week progresses, but as the cards have recommended for today, I’m off to spend some time outdoors. So, without any further ado…

Doreen and the fairies!

Have a wonderful, beautiful, blissful week, yoga lovers!

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Yoga for healthy roots

If you are not familiar with ‘inner body’ awareness, close your eyes for a moment and find out if there is life inside your hands. Don’t ask your mind. It will say, ‘I can’t feel anything.’ Probably it will also say, ‘Give me something more interesting to think about.’ So instead of asking your mind, go to the hands directly. By this I mean become aware of the subtle feeling of aliveness inside them. It is there. You just have to go there with your attention to notice it. Your may get a slight tingling sensation at first, then a feeling of energy or aliveness. If you hold your attention in your hands for a while, the sense of aliveness will intensify. Some people won’t even have to close their eyes. They will be able to feel their ‘inner hands’ at the same time as they read this. Then go to your feet, keep your attention there for a minute or so, and begin to feel your hands and feet at the same time. Then incorporate other parts of the body- legs, arms, abdomen, chest, and so on- into that feeling until you are aware of the inner body as a global sense of aliveness.

~Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

That was where we began class this week. Since my inspiration this week was metaphorical- preparing the soil for the seeds we will be planting and growing in the rest of 2013- this passage from A New Earth served to anchor our practice in our bodies rather than our minds.

Spring is a time of renewal, and I find myself excited and inspired annually at this time. I have had a backyard vegetable garden for a few years now, and the process of preparing, planting, and tending that garden has connected me more deeply to the unique qualities of this part of nature’s cycles. I’ve become more aware of how my efforts in the garden can serve as a template for renewal in many areas of my life- and how those efforts can be bolstered by the prevailing conditions of the season.

As any gardener knows, before you can begin planting the seeds and watching them sprout, you must uproot the weeds and prepare the soil. Our practice, therefore, comprised of grounding, standing postures and special attention to the flow of apana vayu. Standing postures activate and balance the root chakra, which governs our sense of security, stability, and safety. A healthy root chakra is an essential foundation.

Apana vayu, one of the five “winds” or aspects of the life force, is associated with the lower abdomen and pelvis and relates to eliminative functions. Shedding, of sorts. It is the downward-flowing energy that allows the old to be released and transform into the fertilizer for the new to grow. Staying in the “inner body” awareness where we opened our practice together, we used various standing postures to explore apana vayu and connect with this “shedding” energy that enables renewal. To learn more about apana vayu and yoga postures that activate it, check out this article from the Himalayan Institute.

I’ve created a Pinterest board to gather my “spring cleaning” inspirations. As I said, this is one of my very favorite times of the year, so I’ll be keeping you posted on my progress throughout the next few weeks. Stay tuned…

Namaste, yoga lovers!

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Happy Friday, everyone!

A little bit of fun for you… check out my little man practicing his singing crystal bowl skills while battling a case of the hiccups.

A happy, blessed weekend to all!

Namaste!

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Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

Awesome, super positive reading this week, but I gotta be honest… Pumpkin the cat is by far my favorite part. He reminds me quite a lot of the feline mayor of my yoga garden, the goddess Dolce. She’s the boss. And she kicks back and relaxes like a boss, just like kitty kitty in this video. Oh, to be a cat…

I also love the outlook Doreen gives us about the days ahead. The spring equinox is next week!!! I’ve already been meditating on spring cleaning, clearing, and cleansing. It’s time to uproot the weeds and prep the soil for new beginnings. Doreen’s reading this week, using my favorite Mary, Queen of Angels oracle card deck, supports and encourages this “spring cleaning” path. I love it! This is one of my very favorite times of the year.

Watch the video above to see if it inspires you, too! Will you be marking the change of seasons with any special plans? I’d love to hear about them. I’ll be keeping you posted through the rest of the month about my spring “festival,” too.

Stay tuned…

A happy, blessed week to all- and new moon blessings today, too!

superdolce

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Upcoming Events

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12:00 pm Yoga @ VeraVia
Yoga @ VeraVia
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VeraVia is an all-inclusive, luxury health and wellness retreat, located within the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, CA. Please visit VeraViaFit.com to learn more.
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12:00 pm Yoga @ VeraVia
Yoga @ VeraVia
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VeraVia is an all-inclusive, luxury health and wellness retreat, located within the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, CA. Please visit VeraViaFit.com to learn more.
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9:30 am Prenatal Yoga Flow @ Cap Wellness Center
Prenatal Yoga Flow @ Cap Wellness Center
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A 75-minute yoga flow, appropriate for all stages of pregnancy.
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9:30 am Baby & Me Yoga @ Babies in Bloom
Baby & Me Yoga @ Babies in Bloom
Jul 24 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
This class combines a gentle, postnatal appropriate yoga flow with yoga for baby and postures mama and baby do together. Appropriate for 6 weeks to crawling.

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