Saturday, June 28, 2014

Santosha: Contentment

We are on to the second Niyama this week, Samtosha (Contentment).

Life is a pulsation (spanda) of ups and downs. It is so easy for me to practice my yoga and this Niyama in particular when I am on an up swing. When life is good. However it is much harder when I meet resistance. That is when it is easier for me to let go of contentment and grasp on to anger, fear, sadness, and resentment. Some people think because I practice yoga and try to see the good I think all of life is good. I don't. There are horrible horrible things that happen in the world. I don't believe we have to think these  tragedies are good. However I do think we can find contentment and an acceptance that can keep our soul lighter during heavy times.

Yesterday I was struggling. Weeks of no sleep had caught up to me and I was at my edge. Full of resentment to my husband for getting to sleep while I am up all night nursing, rocking and singing to our baby. My head was full of frustration as I was planning my class with the theme santosha, I laughed. Here I was planning a class on contentment even during troubling times while I was experiencing a troubling time and not choosing contentment. I took a few breaths. I accepted the reality of the situation. Yes I am sleep deprived. Yes it sucks. But no I won't feed that by getting more mad and cultivating anger to the world. I will be okay with what is happening even though I don't like it. Funny thing is 30 minutes later my husband unexpectedly took Sage from me and took a 90 minute nap. How sweet!  

We can practice this Niyama in our asana practice by accepting where we are in our practice. Yes I would like to be able to do mandalasana again running out my stationary head  on the floor but after my c-section I haven't been able to practice this backbend. Although I don't like that I can no longer do that playful asana I can be content with it. Another way to practice contentment with asana is practicing poses you don't like. I used to get so frustrated when a teacher taught a pose I didn't like. As if they could read my mind, know I didn't want to do a certain pose so purposefully taught it. How rude! Now I love it. Because I can practice being okay, being steady, even smiling during a challenging experience. That is where growth happens.

I challenge you. Practice contentment. Santosha. On your mat off your mat. When life is good but more importantly when it's not.

Saturday Anusara
Props: blanket, 2 blocks, strap
P.o.e is, os. Oe

Lunge - short lunge- lunge
Lunge T arms twist- rev hand behind head- high runners lunge twist - l.l quad twist
L.l quad both hands- twist
Eprk active - Eprk quad  swivel hand
Eka padangustha dhanurasana strap
Crunches- crunches twist opst knee lifts
Pec stretches at wall
Pinch wall
Eprk myriad
Triag mukhaikapada paschimottanasana
Root femur bones
Mantra missile strap
Symmetrical pose

Saturday fundamental
Poe: thigh loop

1/2 sun 3x
Supta pigeon
Mod. Mod. Parsvak
Mod. Parsvak
Seated twist
Root femur bones

Most Favorite Items For Baby 0-3 Months

I blogged about pregnancy and did so much research about how to prepare for and what to get during those first few months. Everything was so unknown and I tried so hard to grasp and plan the unknownable. Fast forward and now as I reflect I got a lot of items I didn't need (a flat bassinet, the swing, binkies, bottles..) and there were a handful of items I could have not lived with out.

Most Loved and Used Baby Items (not in any special order):

  • Snuza: This is a little alarm that clips to babies diapers, if it doesn't feel a breath movement within a certain period an alarm goes off. I was so worried Sage would just die. That having him was to good to be true. If I could go without ever sleeping those first few days and I tried to just so I could watch him and make sure he was breathing. This alarm was so amazing especially because we did some co-sleeping because I knew before he would die I would be awoken by an alarm. The alarm did go off 2 or 3 times because it moved alway from his skin. But I would rather have it go off by mistake then not go off.
  • Nose Frida: Little babies have such small delicate little noses. I did not like using the bulb they give you at the hospital. My husband insisted on using it and could never get the little boogers. He thought the nose frida, which is a little tube with a hose so you can use your mouth to suck them out, even though there is a filter so nothing goes in your mouth, was disgusting and he refused to use it. however in the end he would bring Sage to me and say "he needs to be nose frida-ed". This was a life saver. We had 2 one in the house and one in the diaper bag. This is my go to baby shower gift.
  • Rock n' Play SLEEPER: we got a regular rock n play. But it is flat and Sage had reflux he needed to be tilted to sleep. This sleeper was great we still use it today at 8 months.
  • Baby Wearing: I love nothing more then snuggling close to my baby. Baby wearing lets be get my snuggle on while I accomplish other things a nice walk, market run, dishes, laundry, hair, gardening... I used a moby to start with which is a cheaper option but is only good for the first few months because it is stretchy and cant carry much weight. Now I use an ergo or a woven wrap.
Hope this is helpful.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Poe: thigh loop. One indicator that thighs are back is that the greater trouchanter the boney proteberence on the lateral head of the femur should be behind the lateral malleolus (ankle bone). The skill is keeping the thigh bone back while activating the glute with outer spiral and pelvic loop. Since the glute is such a big powerful muscle it often with push the femur bone forward.
Props: blanket, strap, block
Theme: Svatantrya.  One of the attributes of the Divine, as recognized in Tantric texts meaning ultimate freedom. The teachings tell us that we also have this attribute which I find hard to connect to. I feel so limitted by my body, finances, heck even gravity. When I contemplate on this quality in my life I find it is through restriction that I experience freedom. For example the more control I use with my alignment on the mat the more freedom I experience as my body expands, I am also free to do what I want off the mat because I haven't accumulated injuries from my practice. It's a paradox in my option because the only way I can experience this freedom is through the practice of discipline.
Heart quality: discipline

Lunge- short lunge- lunge
Low lunge quad
Kneeling mod. Parsvak- Mod.
ardha chandrasana TL
Eprk prep- Eprk active
Eprk quad
Trik- ardha Chandra chapasana
Standing pigeon- Eka pada galavasana
Handstands 2x
One handed handstand
Utthita pada b
Supta pada b
Mantra missile strap
Root femur bones

This mornings class was terrific. I feel my confidence continuing to grow and it is reflected through my students. My regular students are growing and I get terrifically positive feedback after classes. I am feeling so blessed to have anusara yoga fallen into my life.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Saucha: cleanliness

After focusing on the yamas, the first limb of Patanjali’s eight-limbed yoga system which focus on our ethical conduct with others, now we are moving on to the second limb the Niyama (observance) which focus on our conduct with ourself.

 These practices involve the internal environment of body, mind and heart helping us maintain a positive environment to grow, and gives us the self-discipline necessary to progress along the path of yoga.

The first Niyama: Saucha often translated as cleanliness or purification. Many of the yogic techniques are aimed at removing impurities from the body, mind and heart, as well as strengthening their capacity to maintain a pure state of being. There are two main contributing factors to these impurities. Those that are external including friends, work, environment, drinks, food... And those that are internal including thoughts, organs, muscles, and systems of the body.

In anusara yoga we talk about optimal blue print. This is based off of the anatomical position and is the best posture for your body. The closer your body is held in optimal blue print the more healing that occurs and the further the body is from optimal blue print position the more dis-ease happens in the body, mind, and heart.

We can think of this in terms of purity or cleanliness by comparing our alignment to a lake. Let's say we have a body, and we will pretend its a lake, that has never been taken out of optimal alignment (which is never the case) then the lake would be crystal clear with no pollutants or dirt or anything clouding the waters. This creates a clarity connecting the body, mind and heart. Now let's say every time the body moves away from optimal alignment it causes impurities to enter the lake. The dirty the lake gets the harder it is to connect mind, body and heart. And let's face it a dirty lake in not such a joyful experience to visit. Now let's start moving back toward  optimal alignment that would be like adding a filtration pump to the lake to take out some of the filth that has been acquired from moving away from optimal alignment. This is just like the body. When it is heldmore toward optimal blue print injuries are healed, we experience more ease in the body, freedom in the mind and clarity in the heart. When we move out of this alignment depending on how long and far we are away from it depends of how dirty our body gets with injuries, how frustrated our mind gets and how clouded our heart feels.

Optimal alignment isn't ever attained it's not one specific position that is the same for each person. Instead it is a ruff posture that we are ether moving toward or moving away from. In asana we can begin to see what is out of alignment and we can use our breath and muscles to being out body more toward this clean alignment of not causing any injuries and healing old ones.

In every yoga pose we can practice alignment principles to bring us I wars optimal blue print. I remember my first teacher training 9 years ago we learned pose counter pose. The idea being that's how you kept yourself in balance. Practice a big backbend and follow it with a forward fold. However in anusara yoga when we are in a backbend we are still practicing the actions of a forward fold pulling the tailbone in and in a forward fold we are still practicing the actions of a backbend extending the spine backwards. In this way no matter what pose we are doing we can move toward alignment, toward clarity, toward purity.

Principles of emphasis: outer spiral, organic energy. Optimal blue print
Theme: saucha: purification, cleanliness
Antidote: a lake

Lunge - parsvotonasana 2 blocks
Lunge- short lunge- fire glute- L
Eprk prep create curve with is/tl then fire glute with os
Active Eprk
Kneeling mod. Parsvak
Kneeling ardha chandrasana
Mod. Parsvak- ardha chandrasana
Parsvakonasana- vira 2 - ardha chandrasana
Low lunge quad- trikonasana- ardha chandra chapasana
Scandasana- ardha chandrasana - parvrita ardha Chandra chapasana- Standing pigeon
AMV up wall one leg lower, both legs
Standing quad stretch
Eprk quad swivel hand
Eprk myrmaid
Partner Eprk strap
Blanket roll uttanasana 2 blocks
Supta fish crunches
Supta femur bone rooting
Supta twist

Back leg straight. Front knee over ankle. Spine lifted.
Abaya mudra

1/2 sun 3x
Mod chat. 3x
Tree wall
Standing pigeon wall
Wide leg forward fold
Vira 2
Mod. Parsvak
Vira 2
Low lunge quad- trikonasana block &blanket
Tadasana 1/2 moon stretch
Bridge 3x
Supta baddha konasana

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cervical Curve Support

 I love this DIY trick with a swim noodle. Cut it short to about a foot long. Then cut in half lengthwise. If you are smaller make it a little thinner if you are bigger make it a little thicker. Then lay it under your neck. Instant cervical support. So often we stick our head forward causing our cervical curve to flatten. This causes lots of dis-ease in the body. I sleep on this when my neck, shoulders feel out of alignment. I will have conversations laying down so I can get my #alignment on. This has been great being a new mom, all the holding, nursing, pushing causes my shoulder and head to come forward, this is a great re alignment fix that I am in LOVE with
I have also loved wearing my baby with a woven wrap on my back. Wearing Sage like this is actually helping my, by moving my arm bones back, as opposed to wearing him on my belly or pushing him in a stroller, both which draw my arm bones forward.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Seated Home Practice Sequence

It's a rainy day here in Salt Lake City. So instead of my usual walk while Sage sleeps I put him to sleep and did this seated sequence. Felt realy nice on my hips and, low back and legs. I held each pose for 2 mins 

uttanasana- lunge with forearms down
Eka pada raja kapotasana prep- forward bend
baddha konasana 3x block
janu sirsasana
uppa vistha konasana
parsva uppavistha konasana
supta virasana 
triang mukaikapadapascimottanasana
ardha matsyendrasana
janu sirsasana
parivritta janu sirsasana 
hanumanasana 3x

A Little Extra Umph

Tuesday Anusara Yoga
Theme; talking about the difference between the minimal required vs. adding a little extra umph with your effort.
Antidote: structures. fathers vs. dads. Baby wearing regular vs. reinforced. Regular produce vs. organic
principles of emphasis: outer spiral learning to fire the glutes (after establishing the actions of inner spilt and holding those with muscle energy)
Heart quality: effort


Before you start working with these principles in practice, take some time to get to know your butt muscles:

· Gluteus maximus is the largest butt muscle (in fact, it’s the biggest muscle in your body), spanning from the side of the sacrum and ilium to the femur. It’s primary function is to act as an extensor of the hip, but it also laterally rotates (turns out) the hip in extension. This is one reason the back leg in most poses tends to have too much outer spiral. If your leg is fixed, gluteus maximus serves to scoop the pelvis under (retroversion). To feel its engagement, standing in tadasana holding your buttocks and stretch one leg back behind you, extending the hip. You’ll feel the gluteus maximus fire on that leg. Now try standing in tadasana and scooping your pelvis under. You’ll feel both buttocks engage.

· Gluteus medius is located on the outer hip, running from the outer upper hip down to the greater trochanter of the thigh bone. It’s primary role is in abduction of the hip, moving the leg away from the midline by drawing the greater trochanter toward the top of the hip. It also serves to stabilize the pelvis when you’re balancing on one leg (including when walking). To feel it, try standing in tadasana with both hands on your outer hips. Lift one leg straight out to the side to feel gluteus medius do the lifting. Interestingly, gluteus medius will also fire on the standing leg, to steady the balance by rooting downward into the earth.

· Piriformis and those other lateral rotators: There’s a group of six deep hip muscles that all contribute to lateral/external rotation the hip. The main one to note among these is the piriformis, will contract (and spasm) in an attempt to stabilize the hip when the inner thigh/outer hip team is not doing its job. Piriformis happens to sit right on top of the sciatic nerve, and so when it’s tight it can cause a shooting nerve pain down the leg (also known as piriformis syndrome), and due to its connection to the sacrum, it can also pull on the sacrum to jam the sacro-iliac joint. I have a hard time actually feeling these muscles engage; rather, I feel them best when they’re being stretched in hip openers, like pigeon pose. However, you will only feel them stretch if you get the inner thighs back and wide first, and maintain that while adding Outer Spiral.

Principles of Emphasis:

Muscular Energy For finding optimal alignment in the hips you need to tone the upper inner thighs (adductors) and the outer hips.

Inner Spiral turns the inner thighs in, back and apart (this is achieved by the strength of the adductors) and sets the head of the femur bone into the acetabulum (hip socket). The sitting bones widen, and the buttocks muscles soften their grip in order for these smaller muscles to create the inner spiral rotation. In asymmetrical poses the back leg needs more inner spiral.

Outer Spiral initiates from the action of the tailbone scooping under, and also wraps the outer hip back and toward the midline of the body. This involves the strong lateral hip rotators (piriformis, gluteus maximus, and other smaller rotators). When you engage Outer Spiral, make sure that the action of the butt muscles doesn’t override the alignment action of inner spiral. In fact, you’ll probably feel that the inner thighs have to work even more to keep the energetic flow back as you add the action of Outer Spiral. In asymmetrical poses the front leg needs more outer spiral

Organic Energy creates space in the joints by powerfully extending from the focal point toward the periphery. When the pelvis is the focal point the pelvic bones and tailbone move downward towards the earth, and the lower back and low belly lift up toward the sky. Gluteus medius is one of the key muscles involved in the rooting action of Organic Energy, and it creates enormous space and stability in the hip, especially when you’re balancing on one leg.


The sequence:

Lunge inner spiral
Lunge- short lunge- lunge
AMS leg lifting work balance of is/os
W2- mod. Parsvak- rev. Warrior
W2- mod. - parsvak- rev. Warrior
AMV prep L, AMV L, AMV wall
Bum burning exercises:
Tad - standing pigeon - half moon- tad 3x
Tad- parvrita vira 3- tad 3x
Partner ardha chandrasana (root down top hip)
Spastic pose (Start in uttanasana holding the big toes in yogic toe lock (first two fingers around the toe, thumb pressing into the floor). Engage the legs, especially by hugging the midline, and then widen the inner thighs back and apart. Shift your weight onto one foot as you lift the other leg straight out to the side. Gluteus medius, as an abductor, gets a workout on the lifted leg, while, as a stabilizer, gets a workout on the standing leg.)
Butt massage on floor - Pigeon
Mantra missile

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Brahmacharya: moderation of energy

Definitions of what it means vary widely – from total celibacy at one end, to the application of moderation towards all sensory experiences. If we look at the literal translation of the word we find "Brahma" means the ‘divine consciousness’ and "charya" in this context, means ‘living’ or ‘one who is established in’. A literal definition of the fourth yama becomes "one in alignment with divine consciousness" or "being established in divine consciousness"or sometimes translated to mean ‘walking with God’.

Looking at this from a place from moderation is realy going against the norm of society where we race around to acquire. We want more money, power, things. We want want want. An example of not being on moderation and living brahmacharya could be the show Sex and The City. Carrie with all the fancy shoes and clothes, Samatha with all her men, Charlotte chasing perfection , and Maranda always working more and more. Think about how much time and energy those women devote to their various obsessions and quests. Now think about what would happen if that time and energy was freed up and available for use in other things, like coming more into alignment with the divine.

Patanjali says in Surta 2.38 "Brahmacharya pratishthayam virya labhah.

Upon being established in brahmacharya, there is the attainment of vital energy."

We can apply this yama to our yoga practice by using our energy wisely. When you come into the pose and begin to apply the universal principles of alignment think how you can do the alignment and hold it well with the least energy possible. This way you arnt using up your energy to fast and teach yourself how to use your mind, body, heart efficiently.

I remember when I used to practice a more flowky style I would use my energy so quickly swinging legs around and doing dance like movement. I would use my energy so much I needed to come to child's pose frequently and would leave the class equashted and drained. Now when I practice I work hard for sure but I don't experience that same equation. I rarely take a child's pose and never teach child's pose. I do this because it helps students learn to pace themselves and not burn out. I leave class feeling like I worked by refreshed and at ease, not like I need a nap.

Toning the low belly is another way conserves prana (life force energy). A teacher once explained to me that "dropping the lower belly splatters our life force out in front of us". Conserving this pelvic energy can them be channeled up the spine (along the shushumna channel) to the heart, anahata chakra.

Anusara 1-2
Heart quality: concentration
Poe: outer spiral, organic energy

Tadasana - L 3x:
1st: L
2nd. L - short L fire glute - L
3rd. Glute firing: L- hrl twist - W2
Mod. Parsvak- scandasana- half moon
Mod. Parsvak- parsvak- scandasana - half moon
Glute firing exercises:
Tad- standing pigeon - half moon 3x
Tad-standing pigeon -parvrita vira 3 3x
Anjaneyasana quad
Pigeon twist quad
Pigeon quad
Pec stretch wall
Handstands wall
Forearm balance wall
Urdhva danurasana
Root femur symmetrically
Fish crunches- shavasana

Poe: TL, ABB

1/2 sun 3x
Tadasana- lunge 3x
Chest stretch wall
DD prep wall
Vinyasa prep wall
Sun A 3x
Dd- L
Standing pigeon
AMS- w2
AMS- mod. parsvak
Sphnx quad
Supt pada- a- b strap
Trikonasana- wall block
Sucasana twist

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Create the Life You Want... And Tone Your Behind

Theme: create the life you want. What does this mean... To me it means I need enough freedom in my life to let opportunities, magic and the good stuff come in but at the same time I need enough discipline to not let to much good time in my life is chaotic and control to open to not prevent opportunities.

Same goes with the health of our lumbar spine. We need openness so the lumbar spine extends going in and up but if we don't have any boundaries we can have to much curve causing a collapse or we can be to stiff where the curve goes the other way and is rounded in flexion which we don't want. To create a happy healthy low back and life we need the dynamic balance of both freedom and discipline to hold the freedom.
Poe: muscle energy/midline, inner outer spirals
Props: 2 blocks, blanket, strap

Utk- utt inner spiral vs. outter
AMV prep ""
AMV L ""
AMV ""
Tad- L 3x glute work :
L short l time butt long lung
Lunge- standing pigeon- twisted warrior 3 butt toner
Glute firing exercises
Active pigeon
Pigeon twist quad
Active pigeon quad
Parsvotonasana- scandasana- trikonasana-
Ardha hanuman ankle loop
Uttanasana feet on blanket roll
Uttanasana blanket in hip crease
Fish prep crunches to help create natrual cures of spine for shavasana

We first made sure everyone understood thigh loop and inner spiral. The muscles that create and hold these actions are much smaller then the gluteus muscles so they bed to be established first. Then we did lots of breaking down on firing the gluteus with outer spiral. Students seemed to really enjoy the burning bum action.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Asteya...or a-stay-a-way from what does not belong to you (non-stealing)

Teaching 2 Anusara classes tomorrow level 1-2 9-10:30 + FUNdamentals 10:45-11:45. Both classes we will talk about the third yama Asteya...or a-stay-a-way from what does not belong to you (non-stealing) the first class we will look at how this means not seeing you are surrounded with abundance is a form of stealing from yourself just like thinking you can't do challenging yoga poses so not really trying. At the same time we can't forget that doing poses that are to advanced and we can't maintain the alignment is stealing from our future health and happiness. We will work stronge  muscle energy in the upper body and do fun poses like Ganda Bherundasana  (Formidable Face Pose/ chin stand) + eka pada rajakapotasana (full pigeon).  The second class we will focus on the basics. Gotta love how basic seem simple but can have so much depth if you look into them. Don't steal. From others from yourself. Practicing yoga can help is not steal from our health and our future longevity. Patanjali states that when one is fully engaged in astaya, non-stealing, all the wealth of the world becomes yours. As it's often said, the greatest wealth is one's own health! We will also focus on the basic yoga postures and how a simple foundation can help hold the spine and heart up better.

Anusara 9-10:30
Theme: Asteya...or a-stay-a-way from what does not belong to you. Not stealing in the basic sense but This third Yama also speaks to not stealing from yourself. Not thinking that you are surrounded with abundance is a way of stealing from yourself, just as is thinking you can't do a certain yoga pose so not giving it a REAL try.
Peak poses: Ganda Bherundasana  (Formidable Face Pose/ chin stand) + eka pada rajakapotasana (full pigeon)
Poe: open to grace, muscular energy, shoulder loop

Tadasana clasp hands chest stretch - vinyasa - shalabasana
Cat/cow- knees/chest/chin push ups 3x
Lunge fish arm
Knees chest chin- low cobra
Active pigeon -Pigeon twist quad
Knees chest chin- low cobra
Anjaneyasana - scandasana - ardha chandrasana chapasana
Knees chest chin- low cobra
Core work:
Crunches opst knee to elbow
Bicycle crunches
Mod. Chin stand 2 blocks medium level
Mod. Chin stand 2 blocks lowest level
Mod. Chin stand one knee on ground one leg lifted/ maybe foot to opst thigh
Chin stand
Torture pose:
Anjaneyasana reach arms to wall-  Eka pada raja prep ""
Urdhva danurasana wall
Eka pada rajakapotasana partner strap
Matsyandrasana twist
Femur bone rooting
Tadasana (strap) shoulder loop neck stretches
Shavasana (manual shoulder loop adjustment)

FUNdamentals 10:45-11:45
Theme: Asteya...or a-stay-a-way from what does not belong to you getting back to the basics with morals right and wrong non stealing seems simple but there is so much to it. Just like the foundation of out yoga pose, seems simple but there are so many refinements.
Poe: open to grace. Foundation.
Heart quality: softness

1/2 sun 3x
Tadasana- lunge 3x
Chest stretch wall
DD prep wall
Vinyasa prep wall
Sun A 3x
Dd- L
Wide leg forward fold- star
Mod. Parsvak
Standing pigeon
AMS- w2
AMS- parsvak
Sphnx quad
Supt pada- a- b strap
Trikonasana- parvrita trikonasana wall block
L stand prep
Matsyandrasana twist


Thursday, June 5, 2014


Poe: open to grace (foundation of feet and hands? knee in line with second toe, inner body bright)
Theme: Keeping the alignment coming in, Sustaining and coming out of a yoga pose. Continuous action. the old adage that the journey is just as important as the destination.  Annie Allen, describes transitions as the seams that connect the pieces.  The pieces of our practice.  The pieces of our life.
Antidote: Five acts of shiva. Walking or biking vs. driving. I am so much more present during the transition of getting from one place to another.
Quote: “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”
-Margaret Lee Rumback

Tadasana- Lunge 2x
Dd- Lunge
Anjaneyasana- L
L - W2- DD
Mod. Parsvak knee down
Anjaneyasana twist- lunge twist - W2
Active pigeon- pigeon twist quad
Anjaneyasana quad- scandasana
Pincha prep (just like we have been working in the legs root down through forearms, wrists hands to stabilize joint and not collapse while keeping ribs in. )
Pinch manyurasana
Seated forward folds
Seated meditation

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Forgetting and Remembering

Tuesdays Anusara Class
(Ray's bday, Kathlyn first class back afer shattered humerus/scapula/collar bone)

Theme: Our practice is one of forgetting and remembering. Whether it is regarding our postural alignment on the mat or how we are aligning with people, places, things off the mat.
Antidote:  Shiva dances the Ananda Tandeva on top of his vehicle, Apasmara the Being of Forgetfulness/ ignorance. Apasmara Purusha has the face of a demon and body of an infant (how interesting). The word Apasmara means forgetfulness and symbolizes the ignorance that makes us lose our balance and consciousness and run after sensuous things. Symbolically, Shiva standing on Apasmara is asking us to crush our laziness, ego, jealousy, envy and hatred and realize the Supreme Truth. Knowing that forgetting is part of life allows me to forgive myself and be more soft with myself. Sometime on the mat and off I can start to beat my self up, why did you forget kidney loop, why where you being self fish... But that's part of life. I forget and I come back into rememberence. I forget and I feel small and alone I remember and I feel complete and loved.
Poe: open to grace (foundation) muscle + organic energy (focal point)

Surya Namaskar A3x
Anjaneyasana quad
Parsvotonasana 2 blocks
Dancer quad
Dwi hasta padadasana
Upright L
L stand
Handstand partner (sing happy birthday to ray while she demos)
W2- rev W- Mod. Parsvak
Parvrita ardha hanuman block
Janusirsasana/ triang mukhaikapada paschottanasana

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cool as a Cucumber Recipes

 It is hot outside! My pita is more fiery then normal so I have been eating lots of cucumbers to help me cool down and come back into balance. Here are some recipes I have been playing with.

Cucumber Tomato Mint Salad
  • cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • vine-ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • crushed garlic (optional)
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • organic extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • fresh lemon juice, to taste (or raw apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar, or Kombucha)
  • dried mint, a few generous pinches (more if fresh)
Toss all ingredients together in a salad bowl.

Cucumber Yogurt Salad
  • 1/2 cup fresh yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grated cucumber
  • black pepper, to taste
  • rock salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
Whisk all ingredients together enjoy at cool or room temperature.

Cucumber Beet Salad
  • 1 roasted beet
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 a handfull of finely chopped fresh mint and fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
Roast the beet (Wash the beet – leaving the skin on, rub with olive oil and wrap in paper foil. Place in the oven, and bake for about 30 to 50 minutes at 425 F until tender.) Peel/ chop beet and cucumber, mix them in bowl with other ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temp.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Satya: Truthfulness

The Yoga Sutras, believed to have been written some two centuries before the life of Jesus Christ. Patanjali gives the yamas as basic rules of living. The yamas and niyamas are the doS and fonts of yoga. Similar to the 10 commandments but if you don't follow them you don't go to hell. Following these rules helps the yogi suffer less. In  the second chapter of the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali states significantly in verse 16 that “the sorrow which is yet to come is to be discarded.”

     Satya, telling the truth has many layers. The first and most obvious is speaking the truth to others. Being vigilant that what we say is true is less likely to hurt another which supports the first Yama, non violence. Just like we should speak the truth to others we should also speak the truth to ourself.
This is the next layer of satya has to do with inner truth. This is the difference between honesty vs. integrity. Honesty is speaking the truth externally. While integrity is what we do when no one is looking and how we speak to ourself.

Let's break down the Sanskrit : “Sat” means the eternal unchanging Truth “Ya” is the activating suffix which means “do it”. By this definition, satya means aligning and being in harmony with the ultimate Truth.  We chant this in our invocation. If the un changing truth is that we are all one when we act/ do it from this place we act kind to all, ourselves included again supported the first Yama, ahimsa.

As I focused on practicing Satya this week one area I noticed where I was avoiding looking at the truth was my credit card statement. Gulp. Thinking maybe if I don't look at it I can pretend it's my happening. But unfortunately it only gets worse with no awareness. Which is similar to my kidneys. If I don't keep an awareness on my likelihood to collapse my kidneys it will only get worse and cause back pain. I have to look at the truth of my tendencies so I can move into better harmony.

Another example off the mat, your in a relationship and you think it is so great and you are so in love but he is beating you. You don't let yourself see that part so you can go on thinking at a good relationship. We have to look at the relationships we are in and see if they are truly/ truthfully good for us. And I'm not talking about just your relationship with your significant other but the relationship you are in with everyone and everything. Your family, job, food, body, environment... I remember my first anusara class I was shocked when a teacher suggested I feel my own butt and help widen it. What a foreign concept! Fast forward 5 years and I love palpating my body to a) help it come into alignment and b) notice I it is doing what I want it to do. For example when I draw my thighs back do I get a curve in my low back? When I squeeze my legs toward the midline do my muscles fire? I am still amazed to this day that I think I am doing certain alignment principles and think I am getting a certain result but upon further investigation find that I am not actually straightening my back leg when I think I am.

In today's classes we will be focusing on muscular energy and really investigating how our muscles engage. What is the truth? How do you engage the truth?

Second Yama, Satya = truthfulness.
Poe: muscular energy
How do you engage the truth? Investigate for the truth. Are you muscles really engaged?

Low lunge forarms
Anjaneyasana - l.L quad
Active pigeon
Warrior 1
High runners lunge twist - w2
Wide leg forward fold - scandasana - scandasana
Eka pada quad
Eka pada twist quad
Ardha hanumanasana
Ardha hanumanasana ankle loop
Parsvotonasana 2 blocks
Partner handstand legs isometric "L"
Kick handstand
Torture poses are wall:
Low lunge pointed
Anjaneyasana flexed reach hands to wall

Tadasana lunge 3x
Lunge- Tadasana blanket 3 pushes, hold
Standing pigeon wall
Wall mod. Chat
Wall spider finger cobra
Sun A 3x
W2 blanket
Wide leg forward fold
Mod. Parsvak
Handstands wall
Supta pigeon
Bridge blanket
Strap ground femur point/ flex foot
Strap supta pada a, b, c

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...