Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Honor the Dark, Renew Hope with the Light

Theme: honor the dark and celebrate the returning light. 
It is very important for me to I remember pulsation. I learn the beauty of pulsation from nature. For example it isn't always light and it isn't always dark. That this duality is a vital and beautiful part of life. Sometimes when I experience a darker feeling or shadow aspect of myself I feel like it will last forever! But just like in nature I remind myself that this too will pass. I remind myself this even when I am ecstatic and on top of the world, that yes this to will pass. This helps me not cling to or avoid feelings or situations because I know wonderful and challenging aspects of life are pulsating into and out of my experience always and I can be grateful for both. As cliche as it is, we can not have the light with out the dark. So on this day of Yule/ winter solstice when we are experiencing the darkest night we can honor the darkness and all that it brings and we can also celebrate the return of the light. 
Anecdote: winter solstice 
UPA: inner body bright 
Apex; visvamitrasana 
Heart quality: Hope 
Props: strap, 2 blocks, blanket 
This is an abbreviated excerpt of "A Celebration of Winter Solstice" from The Circle of Life by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr.
"There is a tendency to want to hurry from autumn to spring, to avoid the long dark days that winter brings. Many people do not like constant days bereft of light and months filled with colder temperatures. They struggle with the bleakness of land and the emptiness of trees. Their eyes and hearts seek color. Their spirits tire of tasting the endless gray skies. There is great rejoicing in the thought that light and warmth will soon be filling more and more of each new day.
"But winter darkness has a positive side to it. As we gather to celebrate the first turn from winter to spring, we are invited to recognize and honor the beauty in the often unwanted season of winter. Let us invite our hearts to be glad for the courage winter proclaims. Let us be grateful for the wisdom winter brings in teaching us about the need for withdrawal as an essential part of renewal. Let us also encourage our spirits as Earth prepares to come forth from this time of withdrawal into a season filled with light.
"The winter solstice celebrates the return of hope to our land as our planet experiences the first slow turn toward greater daylight. Soon we will welcome the return of the sun and the coming of springtime. As we do so, let us remember and embrace the positive, enriching aspects of winter's darkness. Pause now to sit in silence in the darkness of this space. Let this space be a safe enclosure of creative gestation for you."
Warm up: 
Table jump rope spine 
Half moon side stretch 2x 

Sun b 3x 
Utkatasana twist- L twist- warrior 2- rev warrior - AMS- utt
Mod. Parsvak 
Dolphin- pincha manyurasana 

Lunge t arms twist- rev L- high runners lunge twist- Anjaneyasana twist with quad 
Pigeon quad 
Twisting pigeon quad 
Ardha hanumanasana with front foot wide- scandasana 

Double pigeon - compass 
Visvamitrasana mod. 

Cool down:
Parsva janusirsasana prep fold down middle 
Parsva janusirsasana strap 

Shavasana supported supta baddha konasana 

A Winter Solstice Prayer by Edward Hays from Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim.
The dark shadow of space leans over us. . . . .
We are mindful that the darkness of greed, exploitation, and hatred
also lengthens its shadow over our small planet Earth.
As our ancestors feared death and evil and all the dark powers of winter,
we fear that the darkness of war, discrimination, and selfishness
may doom us and our planet to an eternal winter.
May we find hope in the lights we have kindled on this sacred night,
hope in one another and in all who form the web-work of peace and justice
that spans the world.
In the heart of every person on this Earth
burns the spark of luminous goodness;
in no heart is there total darkness.
May we who have celebrated this winter solstice,
by our lives and service, by our prayers and love,
call forth from one another the light and the love
that is hidden in every heart.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Winter Solstice, Kali, and Transformation

Theme: fiercely cut away the old leave it in the darkness and move forward free with the light. 
Anecdote: winter solstice and Kali 

Kali the dark mother is portrayed fiercely dripping with blood, tongue out, wearing a garland of skulls, a belt of severed arms, and holds many weapons. She is the destroyer that brings transformation and shows us the importance of cycles that we see everywhere in seasons, relationships, moods.... We are reminded of this with winter solstice. That out of the darkness comes new light. Change can be scary and it is Kali who transforms our fear into freedom as she cuts away negative habitual patterns inside of us. During Yule, ask yourself: what do you want to leave behind in the darkness? What do you want to grow with the light? 

A mantra to honour Kali within you is: Om Sri Kalyai Namaha - Om is the cosmic sound, Sri the divine mother, Kalyai, the remover of obstacles and Namaha is a way of embracing these aspects within us all.
UPA: shins in thighs out (SITO) Her fierceness and intensity is seen and felt with shins in and the freedom and transformation is felt with the thighs out. Thighs out is part of inner spiral, it is the widening aspect. Shins in is from outer spiral and helps keep the knee tracking over the second toe. 
Heart quality: transformation and freedom 
Apex pose: bound Parsvakonasana 
Pranayama: Kali's sword breath Benefits: Revitalizes the spirit, enhances mental clarity, recharges the subtle body, releases stuck energy. 
To begin: take a wide Goddess Pose stance and visualize you have Kali’s swift sword of freedom and detachment. This dynamic pranayama has three strong inhalations followed by a full exhalation through the mouth—Kali-style, tongue out. First inhale: Bring your hands together below your navel, drawing them up the front of the body overhead. Second inhale: from overhead position, expand your arms out wide to the sides and up. Third inhale: Bring your hands back together below your navel, drawing them up the front of the body overhead again. Full exhale: pull your hands fiercely down the front of your body, leaning forward, and exhaling through your mouth with your tongue out. Visualize yourself cutting away negative habitual patterns and freeing yourself from false concepts that imprison you. Surrender into your heart and call forth the essence of Kali within you to transform fear into love. REPEAT Complete 10 rounds of this breath practice to honor the form of Kali with 10 arms. (This breath technique is from the wonderful Sianna Sherman) 

Warm up
Uttanasana- ardha uttanasana 3x 
Uttanasana manual SITO hands press on outer shins 
High runners lunge manual SITO front leg- high runners lunge twist 

Warrior 2
Mod. Parsvakonasana - Parsvakonasana 
Warrior 2- reverse warrior - Parsvakonasana - w2 3x 
Scandasana - half moon - standing pigeon 
Goddess pose with Kali Sword Breath- wide leg forward fold- flat back work SITO action in legs - clasp hands behind back

Pincha manyurasana 
Anjaneyasana quad - Anjaneyasana twist with quad- half moon - eagle 
Bound Parsvak (apex) 2x
W1 - twist 

Cool down 
Double pigeon 
Compass pose 
Partner Uptivista konasana partner uses their feet to yogis ankles to provide resistance for shins in while yoga then does thighs out 
Ardha matseyendrasana 
Baddha konasana


Published from iPhone  

Friday, December 11, 2015

Forgiveness = Freedom

Theme: experience the freedom that comes with forgiveness 
Anecdote: the new moon 
As we move into a new pulsation with the new moon, it is important to look ahead instead of looking back. Resentments toward others and ourself can keep us weighted down and stuck in the past. Cultivating forgiveness is freeing! Take a deep breath and allow the goodness and love to expand inside of you and to penetrate into your soul as a result of forgiving and letting go. Honor that today is the first day of the rest of your life. How do you want to live it? Have the strength (Shins in) to let go of the old and to welcome the new (thighs out). 
UPA: shins in thighs out
Heart quality: forgiveness + freedom
Apex: Parsvakonasana 
Quotes: forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. - Mahatma Gandhi
I forgive, heal and release everything that consciously or unconsciously could delay or block the complete evolution of my being. - Mario Liani
Props: block, strap

Warm up 
Table cat/cow
Table shalabasana bum work (extend leg to back of room: flex and extend leg. Move knew toward same side wall keep knee flexed: abduct and adduct thigh. with thigh abducted: flex and extend leg toward side wall) 
AMS - Lunge

Tadasana manual SITO with block around shins and strap around thighs - sun 3x 
Uttasasana manual sito with hands
L hand on outer front shin pressing in 
Hrl twist - scandasana 
Prasarita padottanasana hands interlaced sito arms 

Table sito - pigeon very short back knee almost touching front ankle sito- move back knee further back for deeper pigeon 
Ardha chandrasana- Standing pigeon manual thighs out with hands to inner thighs - Eagle 

Parsvak ultimate freedom asist (one person in parsva the partner stabilizes back foot with there foot buts a hand to their outer shin pressing "in" and then their other hand/forearm to the yogis back inner thigh pressing "out" the out is most important because it lets yogi feel stable. An additional assist is to move lower hand off shin and onto hip to root down with organic energy while yogi scopes tail bone and extend out)

Cool down: 
Double pigeon hands press into feet (shins in) to give resistance to broaden thighs out 
Ardha matseyendrasana
 meditation/ shavasana

Monday, December 7, 2015

Self Care with Endurance

Theme: endurance in self care. 
Anecdote: the holiday season. It is a time of giving and sometimes when we give, give, give and don't take time to fill our own cup and take care of ourself we end up sick, tired and depleted. Last week we talked about cultivating endurance in giving. Being able to give consistently and we linked this to the universal principle of alignment of organic energy. Today we are going to remember the importance of self care before we give. Not that we give ourself a little self care and attention but that we can give ourself this comfort with endurance! Because like anything consistency is key! 
UPA: muscle energy (with endurance) 
Apex: hanumanasana 
Muscular energy is a terrific alignment focus when working toward hanumanasana, full splits, because the muscular engagements gives comforts to our proprioceptors so we can go deeper into the pose while keeping our body safe. I like to think of proprioceptors as little alarms spread throughout the muscles and when these alarms monitor a stretch the alarms go off which seize the muscle up to prevent injury. However if you engage your muscle consistently for 30 seconds (minimum )those proprioceptors are reassured that the muscle is not in danger and the muscle can move deeper into a stretch. So we can't just engage are muscles for a moment and then stretch that's not enough, we have to have endurance in our self care and hold that embrace of ourself so we can give and stretch without getting injured, sick or overwhelmed. So get ready to give your self some comfort and some hugs with your muscles, you deserve it!

Warm up 
Uttanasana engage muscles- ardha utt 3x
Utt- hrl twist 
Utt- standing hip stretch- standing quad - L
AMS 3 hops forward to utt 

Utt blanket roll under balls of feet- parsvottonasa - Malasana blanket roll under heals
 paschimotonasana blanket roll under 
sit bones 
Hero with blanket roll btw calves and hamstrings moving from knees to heels in small increments 
Cow face 
Pigeon quad 
Dolphin leg lift 

AMS- Parsvak hop switch Parsvak 
AMS- trikonasana hop switch trikonasana 
Utt- hrl- parsvot 3x - s.s- hop 3x 

Tad- knee to chest- w3 - 3x- hanumanasana - AMS hop forward
Utt- standing splits- hanumanasana - AMS hop forward 
W1- twist 

Cool down 
AMS 1 minute hold 
Double pigeon 
Wide leg forward fold 
Supta root femur 

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...