Meditation

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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Yoga this week!!

Yoga break, anyone?!

Who’s in?? I will be teaching tomorrow (Thursday) at 10am and Sunday at 10am.

The theme of the week is getting into those spots where we accumulate tightness and tension and unlock them with a focused, gentle yoga practice. Make it conscious and let it go!

See you on the mat!

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Yoga this week!!

We’re going to have a sunny, sunny beach day for yoga tomorrow! Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen!

I will be teaching regular Thursday class tomorrow at 10am. The roses are still looking fine and the hummingbirds are stopping by to say hi. Join me for this gentle, all levels flow. We will focus on connecting with our calm and quiet center and exploring expansiveness via the side body. Sound fun? Be there!

I will also be teaching on Sunday in the park (weather permitting).

See you on the mat!

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Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

Wow! A great, positive reading this week from Doreen and those magical creatures, the mermaids and dolphins. I love this deck and its gentle messages. They come together to create a very exciting and positive outlook on the days to come.

Negativity fast, anyone? πŸ˜‰

Have a beautiful, blessed week, friends.

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Yoga this week!!

Yoga this week… with special guest stars! Yes, in fact, I am referring to the return of the roses in the yoga garden. They seemed to fully pop over the past few days. I love teaching and practicing yoga there when the roses are in bloom, so you know this week’s class is going to be a special one.

My regular Thursday class will be held in the yoga garden, and I will also be teaching Sunday at 10am in the park.

We’ve just passed Earth Day, and Mother Nature is working over time to make our practice space lovely. Join me on the mat this week to join the party!

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Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

Angels, angels, angels!

Doreen is using one of my favorite decks for her reading this week- Daily Guidance From Your Angels. It’s a great deck, as she says, because of the simple clarity of its messages. I’m not sure if that is why this week’s reading caught my attention so much or what, but it definitely rang a lot of bells for me.

Check it out and see what you think!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

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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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Yoga this week!!

Hello, yoga lovers! Welcome to Monday! I hope it’s going swimmingly.

I’ll be on the mat, leading an outdoor practice with the North County Yoga Goddesses on Thursday at 10am. This week, we’ll be looking ahead to Saturday’s new moon and integrating some of its unique qualities into our practice.

Intrigued? Join us on Thursday to work it out on the mat!

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Resolution check-up

The first month of 2013 is behind us now. I decided that my class on the last day of January would be a good opportunity for a resolution check-up.

Did you make any resolutions this year? If so, how is it going after one month? Are you still feeling the motivation and resolve that you felt on New Year’s Day? Or could you use a resolution boost?

Fortunately for me, my resolutions have had the support of Yoga Journal’s ‘Boost Your Willpower‘ program. It is in its third week now, and the momentum it has given me with my goals and intentions was a huge inspiration for class this week. I have been more faithful and committed in my yoga and meditation practices, and I feel more centered and focused than I have in years.

When I sat down with the idea of a yoga practice to re-energize resolutions, two things began to emerge. One was the connection to the sacral chakra- the center that governs appetites and desires. The other was the connection to the solar plexus chakra- the center of willpower and the self. Both of these energy centers play a vital role in manifesting positive changes. So, I built this week’s class around checking in with the sacral and solar plexus chakras and exploring the attributes associated with them.

Twists are the category of asana that is most closely associated with the solar plexus chakra. They are deeply detoxifying, so they aid in “letting go” on many levels. Not to mention that the area of the body that is twisting most in most twists is right at the level of the solar plexus chakra. I like to accentuate the attention they bring to that region but pausing in the twist to visualize a glowing, golden sun at my solar plexus. Learn more about twisting poses here.

The many twisting postures in class this week were interspersed with core stabilizing poses to build strength and to activate and balance the sacral chakra. Again, pausing to visualize a brilliant orange jewel radiating at the level of the sacral chakra adds a whole new level to the practice. I fully encourage it! πŸ˜‰ Check out some core stabilizing poses here.

I wish everyone the best on this first day of February 2013!

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