Thursday, April 25, 2013

Optimal Alignment

Our physical experience is directly linked to our emotional and mental state. When the body is in pain we experience sadness, anger, frustration and hopelessness. When the body comes out of pain we experience happiness. relief, joy and gratitude. This shows the important role yoga can play with the physical mental/emotional relationship. Its awesome to know that if our phyiscal bodies are well aligned it can take the body out of pain and bring with it a shift in attitude and mood.

I taught last Saturday and talked about optimal blueprint. Optimal blueprint is the best alignment for your unique body. When the bones and muscles are held in this place of alignment so much healing takes place. I was explaining to the students how it feels for me to be in a pose and use the universal principles of alignment to adjust and how I experience a *ahhhh haaa* as if I can feel ,my blood, breath, lymphatic fluid, prana..all flowing through me and that's my sign that I am in good alignment.

It is hard to explain what it feel like when you move from just being in a yoga posture to being in optimal alignment. Its like trying to explain the experience of eating really good chocolate. Everyone has their own experience and their own words of explaining.

After attending this workshop my husband (who is not big into yoga but comes to support me says), "when we were doing natarajasana I felt my leg bone click into place. Like it has been out of place for years and something clicked and it was like *wooooshhhhhh* I could feel all this energy flowing through me it felt so good. This is why I love Anusara yoga." Oh how I love when he talks yoga to me. Another great alignment qoute from my husband happened this weekend after he came home from a 120 mile bike ride. He said "I'm glad I have learned good alignment from you, it makes biking more fun!"

During a private I was teaching the other day my student, who has really connected with the principles of alignment made several comments about her experience of optimal alignment. I wish I recorded our session so I could quote her because her words wore so elegant and perfect. "I just cant believe how good the pose feels when it do the alignment. Nothing hurts. I don't want to come out of the pose I just want to stay in it and enjoy".

I really enjoyed Jessica Jennings description of optimal alignment:
"Muscles and bones have an optimal direction they want to go. We know this instinctively – for instance, the shoulders ideally move back, instead of rounding forward.
What many of us aren’t aware of is that these common misalignments cause joint instability, pain, bone spurs, cartilage and disc problems, and many musculoskeletal difficulties that we all experience.
We develop habits – often to avoid using our core strength – that over time, cause certain muscles to be hyper-tense, and certain muscles to weaken. When we do yoga WITHOUT understanding optimal alignment, we can simply be strengthening our misalignments.
When we do yoga WITH an understanding of optimal alignment, we can be doing something similar to physical therapy for our aches and injuries: helping muscles and bones move back in the direction they want to be. In the process, we lengthen the muscles that are too tight, and strengthen the muscles that are overstretched and weak."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Meditate on the pathway between the heart center and head

This meditation it to bring you into the midline of yourself, focusing on the pathway between the heart and the center of the head.
Start by chanting AUM making out each syllable:
AHhhh- resonates in center of heart, Uuuuuu- resonates in your throat, MMmm- resonates in the third eye center above the soft palate of the mouth. Repeat the sound A.U.M until you can feel this pathway well I will normally chant 10-15 times.

Then tune your awareness to your breath. With your inhale breathe down into the heart behind the breastbone and with your exhale breathe up the throat into the third eye center, just above the soft palate, between the ears. On the inhale breathe down into the heart  and on the exhale flow up into the ajna chakra of the third eye.  Keep your awareness and your breath in this subtle channel that runs between your heart and the third eye. With the inhalation as the breath comes down into the heart have the thought “I AM” a decollation of being! Feel that resonance dropping into the heart  and with the exhalation let the " I AM" resonate in the third eye center. In this act of pratyahara (focus) follow the breath with the thought I Am into the heart and up into the third eye space.

Notice any place in your body that feels tight and let part of your awareness go there (keeping the rest of your awarness of this inner pathway). Let your breath release any tightness that you find arising. Notice any thoughts, any feelings that are coming up. Just note them with the recognition “thought”. Let your attention continue to flow inside the inner body keeping the breath moving on that string of from the center of heart to middle of head and notice that as you do this there is a restful inner feeling that you can maintain as you follow the string of the breath.

One of my Favorite sutra's comes from a classic Kashmir Shaivism book translated as The Heart of The Doctrine of Self Recognition: “by unfolding the center the bliss of the highest consciousness is attained”.

Chit! Ananda! Chit means intelligence and knowledge and Ananda means joyfulness and bliss. This sutra tells us that by focusing on the inner channel (shushumna nadi) we can tap into these feelings. The meditation I described above is focused on one segment the center channel. I like focusing on this part of the channel that links my heart to my head brain. I find my attention can easily hold this midline and I can access this blissful awareness pretty easily.

Your BEAUTIFUL! + annoucing eating disorder yoga group series coming soon

You are more BEAUTIFUL then you believe.
Since I was young I struggled with body image issues which manifested as an eating disorder when I was in my teens. After working with therapists, reading self help books, practicing mediation and affirmations I now feel good in my skin. Although I still don't think I see how beautiful I really am. I have learned that I cant trust my own brain when it comes it my beauty or my weight. Instead I trust my husband or doctor.

When I saw this video I was blown away.

I want to spread this message. I want every girl and women to see this video and to realize that we don't see our self as the beautiful light of Grace that we are. I want to be involved with a conversation across our nation and around the world about how we can make changes so we can see our self through the eyes of a friend or a lover instead of an enemy. Our standards for beauty are absurd! lets change this!

I am super excited to announce that I am going to be teaming up with a brilliant therapist MD in the coming months and we are going to be offering a yoga/processing group that will meet for 2 hours once a week for 6-8 weeks for people with eating disorders. More details coming soon! If you or someone you know would benefit from this please contact me for more details.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Aim= Perfectly Imperfect

Ive been thinking about vrikcrokti (dont know the correct sandsktrit spelling). This term means slightly brocken. We are all vrkcrockti, somwhat brocken, imperfect. I did a lot of striving to be fully perfect for a long time and then punishing myself for my like of perfect perfection. Now I work on embracing the fact that that I am not perfect nor will I ever be perfect. Instead I strave to be imperfectly perfect. I understand that I have trouble areas but I can embrace my whole self and enjoy the playfulness of life during the fun times and through the challenges. A good friend of mine used to remind me the best I can be is human. When I feel myself getting mad at Kim I remind myself of this. I also remind myself that my friends, lover, employers, family, eveyone can only be human, that we all make mistakes, we all have things we are working through. My life goal is no longer being as perfect as I can be so the world, others and myself can give me the stamp of perfect approval. Instead I am aiming for a life playfully lived full of compassion, kindness and laughter for myself and others.

In praise of imperfection let your spirit soar, sprial and skip
life is a grand and sacred adventure dine in! Leap forth!
Take risks, go ahead, fall flat on you tush, alot
it is time.
No more doubt and self denial
no more wasted time worrying,
sitting on the side lines wishing you were playing
a secret revieled
we all tumble sometimes
getting muddy can be fun
learning to summersalt and stand up
blossom like the wildfloer you are
take this moment
this opputninity now
transform you life into one that is dynamic, sparkeling, guttsy, fully alive!
by the way perfection is over rated, and if you havent noticed NOT AT ALL POSSIBLE
there is beauty in asemetray
we are all alittle goofy, uneven, vrikcrokti (slightly brocken)
take your regeal seat in the galaxtic family
have fun, have fun, have fun
get over your own self sabatage
the world is waiting for you
have fun, have fun, have fun
get over your own self sabatage
the world is waiting for you
I was inspired by a poem that Amy Ippoliti shared on

Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...