Friday, May 26, 2017

Graduation and What I've Learned

Yoga has been a place of healing, a place to learn about myself and humanity and a place for growth for me.  I was drawn to it in one of the hardest times in my life and I have felt like I wanted to dive in and immerse myself in it at all times!  I was amazingly lucky and blessed to find Bodhi Yoga in Provo where I was able to sit at a true guru's feet and learn from Syl Carson.  A Yogi in the true sense of the word, she breaths and speaks and lives Yoga.
I deepened my understanding of postures and Chakras and breathing in Yoga and learned totally new things like chanting and about Fascia, Ayurvedic philosophy and Marma points that blew my mind!
The out of class learning has also been beneficial as I have taught over 50 hours of Yoga to friends, family and total strangers.  I have become comfortable in sharing Yoga which was ultimately one of my hopes.
I have studies anatomy that has helped me get deeper in my own practice as well as improve my ability to support my students.
The hands on adjusting training I have receivedBodhi Yoga.  Syl has an incredible understanding of the Marma points and body to help us to move and adjust our students in emotionally and physically healing ways.
has been one of my favorite things about this training in
The energy healing aspects of Yoga are so exciting and wonderful and where I can go with the knowledge I've acquired through over 200 hours of training is exciting.  I see myself being able to work with kids, pregnant women, couples and individuals as I assist them in finding connection, creativity, power and strength, increased self love and love for others, communication and enlightenment!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Chanting

I had never chanted before I came to Bodhi Yoga studio but it has been so cool to experience the transcending power and energy that comes from doing it! Syl has a BEAUTIFUL CD / MP3 download on Amazon with her chants.  I have loved playing it and learning the chants and my kids even know some of them now!

As she explains in the beginning of her CD, Chanting is one of the oldest practices in the world.  Wherever you study a culture, most of its origins go back to some form of Chant as a way to pass information from teacher to student, generation to generation and so on.  Chant sounding pre-dates language and could be thought of in the realms of the primordial body.
Sanskrit is the language of consciousness and so with the sound of one word not ending but becoming a part of the next.  As we chant, we re-circle back through to find the energy and intent that looms deeper and deeper within you.  When you chant, the inner most ear and every cell of the body opens and you create an intrinsic lacing between the most inner and entirely of the universe.

My favorite Chant is
ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO, GURU DEV GURU DEV NAMO
It means
"I bow to the Divine Creator, to the inner knowingness, the teacher and to the love of GOD inside me"

I can only sing it because of the CD that I listened to and sang along with for weeks.
Now I can incorporate it into my practice and love it!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

BodhiYin Yoga

BodhiYin is a restorative Yoga Practice that Syl Carson of Bodhi Yoga designed that awakens the Vitality and immunity of the body, mind and spirit, recharging those with supportive, restorative postures using stillness, breath and subtle intrinsic movements through several cycles of deep relaxation.
This practice requires bolsters and blankets as well as other props that help the body and mind let go to the subtle whispers of the spirit.
The supported poses in this series are held for longer periods of time allowing the mind and body to relax into each outer.  With micro movements and deep breathing we surrender each layer of resistance until we are fully relaxed in our intrinsic practice.
Honoring Tamas, the heavier, more still energy, we allow the experience of surrendering to deeper and deeper layers of stillness, intrinsic movement, restoration and cellular rejuvenation.  People with anxiety or burn out from any kind of excessive activity, but it stress, disease or chronic pain experience profound benefit form practicing this way.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Omm

I love the sound, meaning and symbol of OM!  The more I learn about it, the more amazed I am at what it can do and what it means! I have found it is the perfect way to Yolk my class together as we yolk our minds to body, breath and spirit.  It has the resonance and vibration of God.  Syl of Bodhi Yoga pointed out that if you think of the names GOD, JEHOVAH, BUDDAH, and ALLAH, there is the sound of O in Om in each of the names.
From Ocoy.org I found some additional guidance in how to incorporate it into your practice.
Breath and sound are the two major spiritual powers possessed by us, and here is how they are combined for Om Yoga meditation.
1. Sit upright, comfortable and relaxed, with your hands on your knees or thighs or resting, one on the other, in your lap.
2. Turn your eyes slightly downward. Then close your eyes gently,. This removes visual distractions and reduces your brain-wave activity by about seventy-five percent, thus helping to calm the mind.
3. Breathe naturally. Your mouth should be closed so that all breathing is done through the nose. This, too aids in quieting the mind. Though your mouth is closed, the jaw muscles should be relaxed so the upper and lower teeth are not clenched or touching one another, but parted.
Be aware of your breath naturally (automatically) flowing in and out as you breathe through your nose. Your breathing should always be easeful and natural, not deliberate or artificial.
4. Now in a very quiet and gentle manner begin mentally intoning (“singing” on a single note) Om once throughout each inhalation and once throughout each exhalation. Fit the intonations to the breath–not the breath to the intonations. If the breath is short, then the intonation should be short. If the breath is long, then the intonation should be long.
Make sure the O and the M get approximately “equal time”–Oooommmm, not Oommmmmm or Oooooomm. Don’t torture yourself about this–approximately equal is good enough, and in time your intonations will automatically occur in this right manner. Also, your intonation of Om should begin when your inhalation/exhalation begins and end when it ends. In this way your intonations should be virtually continuous, not with long breaks between them. That is: OommOommOommOomm, or Oomm-Oomm-Oomm-Oomm, rather than Oomm…Oomm…Oomm…Oomm. Here, too, approximately continuous is sufficient.
5. For the rest of your meditation time keep on intoning Om in this manner–in time with the breath–listening to your inner intonations of Om. Let your awareness become fully absorbed in the mentally intoned sound of Om. No need to pull or push the mind–it will naturally come to rest in the sound. Just let the mind relax and sink or melt into it.
6. In time your inner, mental intonations of Om may change to an even more mellow or soft, subtle form, even to an inner whispering that is almost silent, but Om is always fully present and effective, and you will still be intoning Om in your intention. Your intonations may even become silent, like a soundless “mouthing” of Om, yet you will still be intoning Om in your intention. You may find that your intonations of Om move back and forth from more objective to more subtle and back to more objective. Just intone in the manner that is natural at the moment.
7. In the same way you will find that your breath will also become more subtle and refined, and slow down. Sometimes your breath can become so light that it almost seems as though you are not breathing at all, just thinking the breath.
8. In Om Yoga we do not deliberately concentrate on any particular point of the body such as the third eye, as we want the subtle energies of Om to be free to manifest themselves as is best at the moment. However, as you meditate, you may become aware of one or more areas of your brain or body at different times. This is all right when they come and go spontaneously, but keep centered in your intonations of Om.
9. Thoughts, impressions, memories, inner sensations, and suchlike may also arise during meditation. Be calmly aware of all these things in a detached and objective manner, but keep your attention centered in your intonations of Om in time with your breath. Do not let your attention become centered on or caught up in any inner or outer phenomena. Be calmly aware of all these things in a detached and objective manner–they are part of the transforming work of Om, and are perfectly all right–but keep your attention centered in your intonations of Om in time with your breath. Even though something feels very right or good when it occurs, it should not be forced or hung on to. The sum and substance of it all is this: It is not the experience we are after, but the effect. Also, since we are all different–unique, actually–no one can say exactly what a person’s experiences in meditation are going to be like.
10. If you find yourself getting restless, distracted, “fuzzy,” anxious or tense in any degree, just take a deep breath and let it out fully, feeling that you are releasing and breathing out all tensions, and continue as before in a relaxed and easeful manner, without strain.
11. Remember: Om Yoga meditation basically consists of three things: a) sitting with the downturned eyes closed; b) being aware of our breath as it moves in and out, and c) mentally intoning Om in time with the breath and listening to those mental intonations–all in a relaxed and easeful manner, without strain.
12. At the end of your meditation get up and go about your usual daily routine while continuing to intone Om in time with your breath. If sometimes you cannot intone in time with your breath, then intone Om over and over like the tolling of a bell until you can resume intoning with the breath.



From the blog "Inner Engineering", there are an amazing amount of valuable benefits to Chanting Om!

Om meditation is known to have transcendental qualities. It can bring peace and balance to the meditator’s system, and is known to relieve people from numerous physical and mental ailments when practiced regularly.

  • Chanting of OM Mantra purifies the environment around the chanter and produces positive vibrations.

  • It takes you alpha, a meditational state which gives you deep relaxation.

  • Your concentration and focus increases

  • Chanting removes negative mental impressions from your mind

  • It gives you better immunity and health

  • Improves your voice, gives strength to vocal cord and thyroid gland

  • Has a cardiovascular benefit and normalizes blood pressure

  • Helps with emotional regulation

  • Increases energy and removes fatigue


    So Have Fun Ommmming! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Doshas

Oh!  The Doshas!  Through my Yoga Teacher Training, I have learned a lot about Ayruveda and one of the coolest things are the Doshas.  This incredibly complex yet simple way of figuring out your energy, body type, food preferences and so much more!  Every pose either strengthens or balances Doshas.  "The Doshas are the result of mother nature manifesting herself into reality".  According to Ayruvedica Medicine, "when the Doshas are not in equilibrium, disease manifests within the body.  The Doshas are basically 3 distinct life forces, Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Vata facilitates physical processes and movement.  It is the air element and people who are born with the Vata energy are typically thinner, more energetic, easily understanding and forgetting, prone to worry.  Interestingly, 2-6am and 2-6 PM are their best times of day and they are excellent artists and healers.  For people who are Vata, it is important to be aware of overstimulation.  Vata people thrive on variety, but if there is too much excitement and change, their excitement turns to exhaustion. Avoiding any sort of stimulants and staying warm with warm fluids, humidity help this cold dosha.
The Pita Dosha is the fire and water element.  This intense energy has a knack for perceiving reality and comprehend things as they are.  Governing all aspects of light and warmth Pittas are excellent teachers, Leaders and guides with very active solar and sacral chakras.  They are gifted with the most innate drive, aggression and energy and love to attack life head-on and relish challenges.  When this fire is unchecked, it can burn a Pitta up.  The workaholics of the world are generally out-of-balance Pittas, so Pittas have to consciously pull themselves back when they see certain danger signs with scheduled calm in each day, connecting with nature, watching the sunset, stars or moon and avoiding alcohol.  Their best times of day are 10pm-2am and 10am to 2pm.
Kapha is the third Dosha.  This heavier, stable earth element Dosha has a slower movement and tends to be dependable and strong.  Kaphas tend cling to the status quo too tightly and need the stimulation of new sights and sounds, people and events to move them.  They need a varied diet and regular exercise to move to keep from allowing their digestion to slow down too much.  This Dosha has a higher tendency for depression due to the natural slower movement and tendency to stagnate.  Again, meditation is very useful here because what makes life truly stimulating is not external variety but the spark of alertness inside us.  Kaphas are tempted to be posessive about life, to store and save everything that comes their way, whether it is money, energy, status or love.  When they discover that they can let go and use their solid strength as a fuel for change, they take a huge step forward in their personal elevation.
It is recommended that Kaphas avoid sugar, stay warm and drink warm fluids during the day.  Kaphas do best if they awaken one hour before the sun and to actually get less sleep than other Doshas.




Saturday, May 13, 2017

BodhiFlow Tiers 1-4

I teach a style of yoga that Syl Carson of Bodhi Yoga designed.  It is several moving meditation yoga series that flow together in a very inspired way.  It is different from traditional vinyasa because it moves slower with the primary focus being on releasing the core tightness in the body and awakening the Prana or "Life Force" of the body, mind and spirit.  It helps develop the upper body strength and grounded awareness providing balance and flexibility in one of the most therapeutic ways possible.   This is done by focusing on slow, steady movements where each posture ceases to be separate from one another and the pace supports 'time under tension' where the muscles balance and the mind builds stronger with less repetitions than fast paced, traditional vinyasa.
Ultimately when practicing BodhiFlow, you experience deeper the realities of our mind, body, spirit connection because we use the full breath with each movement rather than shortening our breath to keep up with our repetitions.  It is intended to open and strengthen the tneire body from the inside out.

With BodhiFLow is appropriate for anyone who is in basic good-health and any level of Yogi can find it benefits like expanded body/mind understanding and awareness and well being.

Tier 1 moves one through a simple adapted sun salutation with therapeutic attention to the low back, S-I joint, sacrum and abdominal core (psoas). Starting in Tadasana one moves into a short Utkatasan to a forward fold, then into a modified plank and upward facing before moving into a child's pose.  From there you move up into rolling up and scrolling into cow then cat before scrolling into a downward facing before walking up into tadasana again.

Tier 2 moves you through into a more active series, starting with a supported backbend, folding into  a forward fold and then a pyramid, then crescent lunge before the triangle.  Moving through to a lunge twist and into a chataranga, there is a short rest in child pose before the opposite side repeats before coming back into Tadasana.

Tier 3 begins with a swinging forward 3 times before lacing the fingers behind the back and letting them fall.  Coming back into Utakatasana for a breath, you then exhale into forward fold and move through plank and Chataranga.  Scrolling back into child and downward facing, one leg raises before steppign through Warrior I, Reverse Warrior and revolved raised lunge and twist and moving onto the others side via a Chataranga before coming up to the swinging, utkatasana and tadasana.

Tier 4. begins with deep breaths with hands in the UttaraBodhi Mudra against the heart, charging the heart with healing energy for 3 breaths.  Moving forward into a fold, you then inhaling to a squat and exhaling as you roll back, inhaling forward, exhaling back 4 times before rolling all the way up to forward fold and back to Tadasana.

The 12 Physical Benefits of Yoga

1. Integumentary
Now that I am in the premium skin care industry with Rodan and Fields, this part is very fascination, did you know Yoga gives skin a healthy glow by detox though sweating, blancing hormones and boosting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the skin as well as stimulating production of collagen throughout the body promoting resilient skin.

2. Fascial
Have you heard of Facia?  I hadn't until about 3 years ago!  If you've ever cooked a chicken breast, you know that thin layer of something around it that you can peel off?  That is fascia and we have it too!  When your fascia isn't working right, there are serious problems.  Yoga releases lock down in the body from constant 'forward thrust' and stress by using an intrinsic patterning of resistance and release, which facilitates fluidity through all the stimulates of the body.

3. Skeletal
Yoga strengthens bone density through isometric movements and keeps optimal range of motion in joints.

4. Muscular
I never felt more fit than when I did Yoga every day.  Not when I was doing crossfit or training at a national level of racquetball or badminton.   My muscles were balanced and strong.  Yoga strengthens tone and lengthens our muscles through movement.   Yoga also keeps muscles young and vital so that more minerals and nutrients are more readily absorbed.  When our muscles are blanced and in structural alignment, more movement is allowed thus expending less energy!

5. Circulatory
Yoga acts as a cleaners of our systems, oxygenating the blood as well as toning the entire cardiovascular system.

6. Respiratory
Yoga practice increases our overall lung capacity and tones all the systems of the body.

7. Digestive
So often as I teach my class i mention we are massaging our internal organs.  How often do you do that other than in Yoga class?  Yoga is typically practiced on an empty stomach.  It stimulates the body's digestive fire and healthy elimiative practice.  In short, regular Yoga helps you keep regular!

8. Eliminative
Yoga Kriyas and the Yoga tradition of fasting can be used to cleanse the GI tract internally.

9. Endocrine
Yoga stimulates Thyroid function and the pituitary gland and balances hormones.

10.  Nervous
Yoga increases nerve energy pathways throughout the body, balancing the cerebrospinal fluids and releases impingement pressure on nerves.  It also soothes the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to work in tandem as they were intended.

11. Mental Emotional
Yoga balances the right and left brain thinking capacity, increasing conscious awareness and concentration abilities.

12.  Pranic
Yoga increases the overall Prana (Life Force) to each of the 12 systems and cultivates the ability to direct energy to different areas of the body.

If you have read all 12 of these benefits and aren't getting on your mat right now, I am surprised
!

Go Yoga!

Teaching at the Clarity Retreat

For the second year in a row, I have been able to put on a Clarity/Yoga retreat up at abeautiful cabin in mountains of Utah. I have partnered with Helen Racz  a Guru in her own rite who has been my angel on earth while going through this experiences of my marriage ending.  I had a desire to share her and my Yoga with the women I love.  
Teaching Yoga in the mountains on heated floors is pretty much where it's at!
I love that I have a skill to share with women I love.  My favorite part is going around to each one and working on their feet, hands, shoulders and heads.  It's like I'm blessing them.
Love my work!
Thank you Bodhi Yoga for such incredible training!