Yoga

DIY, at-home spa day for you!

Happy Friday to you!

Check out my video about how to create a simple, rebalancing spa day/break at home. On the day of the solar eclipse, I read a post that recommended “extreme self-care” through the end of the year. This spa treatment is agreat way to refresh, rebalance, and lover your body.

Take a free quiz here to learn your Ayurvedic dosha.

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Yoga this week!!

Oh no!!!

Can you even believe, dear readers, that I’ve been out of commission with a cold again? I’ve been quite useless all week. I thought I had really put together a satisfactory defense when li’l man headed back to school in September. When he began school for the first time earlier this year, he brought sicknesses home about every other week. “Not this time,” I said. “This time, we’re coming prepared.”

Not so fast! Sick again.

So, (check out the brains on me) guess what I’m inspired to teach about this week? Yoga to support your immune system! That will be the subject matter for my regular class on Monday at 10am.

I will also be teaching a class in the park this Saturday– a gentle, all-levels-appropriate flow class.

Join me for one. Join me for the other. Join me for both! I would love to see you there!

Health and happiness, yoga lovers!

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Yoga this week!!

Hello, everybody!

It’s your friendly neighborhood yoga cheerleader! When I say ‘down,’ you say ‘dog.’ DOWN! DOG! DOWN DOG! Go yoga!

I’m pumped and ready to encourage you to be the very best you can be on your mat this week. As always, I will be teaching on Monday at 10am.

Our practice this week will focus on tuning in to the breathing to boost our present awareness.

Go yoga!

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10 poses to promote creativity & emotional balance

Since the beginning of October, my yoga goddesses and I have used our weekly yoga practice together to explore different aspects of manifesting our dreams, goals, and intentions. What are the best ways to nurture the seeds we are sowing? How do we pave the way there while staying open to the myriad possibilities present in each moment?

With the arrival of the full moon (it reached its fullest less than an hour after our class), we ushered in the time in the cycle for putting our plans into action. It is the time to “git ‘er done,” as one of my teachers puts it. It is also a time for cleansing, letting go, releasing any excess baggage that impedes our progress.

As I was looking ahead to this week’s class and the full moon, I was simultaneously experiencing cleansing “symptoms” associated with receiving my level II Reiki attunements. It has been (and continues to be) a wild ride- with the most intense symptoms manifesting emotionally. I’ve felt like the “stuff” that I’ve held on to for waaaay too long is shaking loose and forcing its way to the surface. Not always pleasant. Not always fun. But I have been doing my best to at least make it constructive.

I suppose it is the time of the year when the goblins pop up. It’s been weeks since I could walk through the aisles of almost any store without my son being terrified by some beasty or other. My inner child has been dealing with the same thing, I guess. So, I’ve tried to be open to the lessons contained within each situation- good, bad, or beastly- and to stay focused on ways to transmute my goblins into gold.

One of the methods of my madness has been seriously cleaning my house. Don’t you just love a good, cathartic clean? I’ve been cleaning like I can clear emotional debris with a Swiffer.

Spiders, beware! I’ve got your number! No dark corner is safe from this fi-yah!

Ummm… yeah. Transmutation was the word of the day… every day. It couldn’t help but spill over into this week’s class. My students are a talented, creative bunch. There is so much creative power among them that I let that be my inspiration. How can we use our creative gifts and talents to burn through emotional cobwebs? What poses would light the creative fire and transmute emotional goblins into greater presence and wisdom?

When we hold on to baggage for too long, it can “stick” in certain areas of the body. The heart center is one area that gets weighed down by holding on to emotions. The shoulders slump. Breathing becomes more shallow. Backbends! Backbends create opening across the chest and lift the heaviness that many of us carry in our shoulders and chest.

For our purposes this week, however, I chose to focus on another emotional center: the hips. Our hips carry us through life. They support us and help us stand tall. They can also be restricted by emotional build-up.

Hip-opening postures are know to trigger deep emotional release. They are also the category of poses associated with the sacral chakra- the energy center of emotions (its element is water) and creativity.

Lots of hip-openers it is then! You know it. You love it.

Here are 10 poses to promote creativity and emotional balance. I’ve also included a few throat chakra poses (forward bends) to facilitate communicating your creative inspirations outward.

1. “Cradle the baby” Pose
2. Baddha Konasana / Bound Angle Pose
3.Anjaneyasana / Low lunge
4. Utthan Pristhasana / Lizard Pose
5. Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend
6. Gomukhasana / Cow Face Pose
7. Upavistha Konasana / Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
8. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana / One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
9. Paschimottanasana / Seated Forward Bend
10. Apanasana / Knees-to-Chest Pose

Now get on your mat and turn those goblins into creative gold!

Namaste!

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Yoga this week!!

What time is it? You know what time it is…

Yoga time!

Tomorrow, Monday at 10am, we will be rocking it in the yoga garden.

Word of the week: self-expression. How do we get things off of our chest? How do we express our unique gifts and talents to the world? Let’s explore it on our mats!

Sound interesting? Join us! It’s the full moon. It’s nearly Halloween (or already has been Halloween for nearly a week… depending if you live in my house). You know there will be magic happening!

Costumes optional 😉

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The yamas: Thoughts on aparigraha

Hi there, yoga lovers! I’m reposting this reflection on aparigraha from my “Yama Studies” during Teacher Training. Aparigraha is one of the five yamas. It is often translated as ‘non-grasping,’ ‘non-clinging,’ or ‘non-hoarding.’ It came up in class this week, and I thought it would be better to re-post it rather than trying to remember what I had written. 😉

Enjoy!

Working on Aparigraha, for me, puts great emphasis on transitioning from an ego-bound identity to identifying primarily as Self. I find that trying to verbalize my experiences with the yamas often conflicts with truly experiencing them. If I practice aparigraha with the thought in mind that I will have to say something coherent about it soon, getting the words right can take over the process. I end up trying to narrate my life rather than live it. This has actually been a very strong attachment in my life- my attachment to words. As I attempt to take a ‘living’ approach to aparigraha, I see that my virtual hoarding of words and stories is indicative of a larger pattern for me. I see that this attachment is only part of my ego’s attempt to build a sense of permanence and security around it. “All these things, all these words- maybe if I can just arrange them in the right way, I will finally know who I am and where I stand. Then, I can tell everyone about it and be a happy, functioning individual,” or so says my ego.

Attachment or hoarding create the cushion that encases my fragile ego. Still, it never achieves the perfect permanence and completeness that it ‘requires’ to feel stable. It needs new things, new descriptions, more!! to gather around it before it can finally feel whole. The trouble is that the more the ego hoards and the larger the cushion grows, the more insulated I become against feeling connected to Life. Ironically, this effort to know who I am keeps me from knowing who I AM. Ego and attachment keep me locked in a limited sense of identity. They keep me from knowing my own eternal nature. So, the practice of aparigraha for me is fundamentally about telling my ego, “It’s not you, it’s me… but I hope we can stay friends,” and letting my Higher Self be my guide. Coming from that perspective, letting go is a much simpler process.

Namaste!

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Yoga this week!!

What’s up, yoga people?! What’s the word from the mat?

If you are interested in hearing about what is inspiring me now, I will be teaching on Monday at 10am.

This week, we will use our practice together to examine aparigraha and expectations.

Tune in this week to see what to expect when you’re… expecting. Oh geez. What are we getting ourselves into now?

Can’t wait to see!

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Ten poses to relieve stress & anxiety

Like last week, this week’s inspiration for class came from lessons learned along the way to manifesting change in my life. I’m currently holding the threads of several projects in my hands and meditating, praying, working, envisioning… anything available to weave them into the life I wish to create. Each of them is dear to my heart. I am fully committed to seeing each of them through- all of them tied in some way to yoga, this ancient, transformative science that I love. I want to guide, help, and inspire others through yoga. I want to help them realize the infinite brilliance within themselves by walking the walk and leading by example.

The dedication I feel in my heart to doing what I believe is my life’s work will not rest, and it will not take ‘no!’ for an answer. Even if you don’t have an entirely clear vision of what that “work” looks like for you, you may still feel the pull of your heart’s knowledge that you are, in fact, here for a reason. That your life has meaning. Your heart’s longing to reconnect with that purpose may feel as urgent as the burning dedication I feel to willing my yoga “career” into existence.

So, the time to do something about it is now, right?

In the interest of doing this as expeditiously as possible, I’ve honed in on the tremendous time-suck that is stress and anxiety. They can deplete you on every level… often needlessly. I mean… can you ever remember worrying your way to a positive solution? When was the last time you sat back and marveled at how constructive your stress is? Know why? Because it’s not.

We need all of our time and energy to be available for this mission of ours- correct, Captain? So, stress and anxiety. MUST. GO.

As I was beginning to build this ‘relieving stress and anxiety’ asana sequence, it occurred to me that idea is a bit redundant. Greater calm, peace of mind, and present awareness are benefits of every yoga practice I can think of. I found, however, that certain asanas and categories of asanas are linked more strongly with producing changes in the body that soothe feelings of stress and anxiety. Inversions, for example, are well-known stress and anxiety busters, along with any poses that get the heart elevated above the head. The increased blood flow to the brain can change your whole outlook on things.

Postures that stimulate and engage emotional centers in our body soothe stress and anxiety as well, such as backbends (for the heart center) or hip-openers (for the hips and the sacral chakra).

Here are ten of the stress-and-anxiety-relieving yoga postures that made the final cut for class this week:

1. Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana)
2. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
3. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajkapotasana)
4. Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
5. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)
6. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
7. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
8. Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
9. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
10. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Of course, I would be remiss not to acknowledge that stress and anxiety often have such a powerful hold because we are not always fully conscious of the ways they are working. They can become a kind of default response that happens without our conscious mind offering any say in the matter. If we override that pattern of defaulting to stress and anxiety whenever a challenge arises, the power of our conscious presence opens up a multitude of positive possibilities for dealing with life.

We brought this onto the mat by “making it conscious,” using our practice to anchor our consciousness in the present moment. Making the breath conscious, silently repeating, “the breath is going in – the breath is going out.” Making the postures conscious, paying close attention to the unique physical sensations of each one. Making movement conscious, moving with integrity and intention.

“Making it conscious” can transform any challenge or situation by bringing your awareness to the resources available to you right now. And, let me tell you, they are far beyond anything you realize when burdened by stress. I play the “making it conscious” game while making dinner, cleaning the shower, eating, driving, working… the list goes on and on.

If there is one thing that I gained, personally, from this week’s adventures on the mat, it is a greater sense of power over stress and anxiety. By shining a conscious light on them, I feel more able to see and accept them for what they are. From that place, I have the upper hand in deciding what role they will play in my life- whether I will let them interfere with my dreams or meet them courageously/consciously like any other challenge. Guess which one I pick, mes amis?

We concluded class this week with a guided meditation using the San Kalpa sutra. It is an ancient Sanskrit sutra that amplifies the power of your intentions.

My intentions could sure use a little amplification right about now. How about yours? Try it and see!

Namaste!

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Kamelien loves you!

“The chakras are the seven vital energy centers of the body, where the subtle life forces are most concentrated. The flow of energy means life; stagnation means aging and disease.”

~Pratima Raichur, Absolute Beauty

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Yoga this week!!

Uh oh! I will be teaching this week on Monday at 10am.

Monday comes after Sunday, and Sunday is lil man’s 4th birthday party. Apologies in advance for leading our class with a wicked birthday cake hangover. 😉

No, that’s totally not true. It will just make me… sweeter.

Join us to find out the exciting conclusion to our story!

Topic of the week: Relieving stress and anxiety with yoga

See you on the mat!

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