Tag Archives: meditation

Aligning your chakras for awareness

Just a quick post today…but something that, while not super entertaining, is definitely useful…

Many yogis (yours truly included) are guilty of denying their practices two things: sufficient centering at the beginning of practice and pranayama (yogic breathing exercises). This easy to incorporate exercise takes no longer than 5 minutes and not only will it get you centered, but it will also align your energetic channels.

Here are the steps:

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Hello Fall, Goodbye Sanity

As today marked the first day of Fall it also solidified something i’ve been fearing. Indeed, my head has once again become detached from my body. Yup, once again, the crisp fall air, the cool breeze, the return of more clouds and less of the bright and shiny summer days has bamboozled my body and brain into thinking they don’t belong in the same space. Grounded? Pshaw, hard enough to find the ground much less stay on it.

So i’m making that commitment, slow down, drink more of it in….release the dry and flighty Vata Energy on a conscious level and get back to the roots.

Tips for grounding  yourself on and off the mat:

Eat your comfort foods! include lots of warm soups and stews made from well-cooked vegetables, lentils, basmati rice, squash, sweet potatoes are all good examples of balancing foods for balancing Vata energy.

Slow your roll! More SLOW exercises, less high energy movement. Include more deep yoga stretches and restorative or yin postures in your daily routine to turn inward and observe rather than ride to vinyasa wave for your entire practice.

Sit and Simmer. Meditate morning and night. And take small opportunities throughout your day to watch the breath, feel your feet, observe your surroundings. Vipassana or mindfulness meditation is a great place to start.

“When going, the monk knows ‘I am going’, or, when standing, he knows ‘I am standing’, or, when lying down, he knows ‘I am lying down’. Or in whatever position his body is placed, he is aware of it….Whether he goes, stands or sits, sleeps or is awake, speaks or is silent, he is acting with full attention. ~ Digha Nikaya

Mmmm Hot Oils 😉 abhyanga, the practice of self-massage with warm oil. Feel your body to truly be in your body. Check out the benefits of this ancient and truly enjoyable practice here. How to do abhyanga for your dosha

So there you have it folks. My commitment to myself and to you. Come to class and expect to work with me through a slower and steadier pace of flow– at least until nature decides to clear out the vata. Find the intensity and resulting tranquility that will arise from observing our bodies react to 10 breaths of bound side angle rather than 3, 5 breaths of balancing ardha chandrasana instead of 1, 7 of plank rather than a brief inhale…you get the idea. You’ll be surprised just how challenging both physically and emotionally this will be and how rewarding the end result will be as you leave the room feeling a little more connected.

Try it on your own mat, followed by some lentil stew, a lit candle and a hop on the meditation pillow, and a nice luke warm shower followed by self massage. Delightful, yes? 🙂

Namaste ya’ll,

J-to the-C-to the-C

Want some mat guidance? Check out these flows that are meant to be grounding and slow them down to reign in that Vata energy.

And of course some tunes to flow to:

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Hello my name is…uh…I forgot

Daily Dose of…Soul Scrubbing

Think about this and chew on it folks…

Who would you be if you shed all the labels you gave yourself? I don’t just mean the “negative” labels, but ALL of them. Your job, your hobbies, your family role, your social role, ALL OF EM’…

Ponder that. Then ponder it some more. Maybe sit your butt on the floor, light a candle, and then ponder it even more. You know… meditate and stuff. You might be surprised to find that underneath all of the labels is a shining and spacious soul full of possibility. You also might find it hard to detach from those self imposed “stamps” to see that beauty.

That’s what yoga does for me. It helps me to get out of my own way, ditch the sticky labels for 60, 90, 120 minutes and see the true self instead of seeking a label that fits JUST RIGHT. ‘Cause guess what dolls, none of them ever fit every part of you. There is no way they could with all those little bits of God roaming around inside.

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha, Ya’ll

(Om and salutations to the remover of obstacles for which Gum is the seed.)

Jennifer

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Happiness is the mode of travel NOT the destination

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The ambrosial hour: Practicing in the early morning

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.
—Rumi

Ambrosial hour…hmmm…does it involve canned fruit and coconut? Whipped cream?

Not quite 😉 . The amrit vela, or ambrosial hours just before dawn, are the time recommended by many yogic traditions to wake and practice in order to maximize the potential for spiritual awakening. Morning practice is said to be the time when the veil of the ego is thinnest, offering fewer of the distractions that are present throughout the day. I can attest, it’s pretty awesome.

Challenge:

for 30 days (a mere month) honor these early morning hours by awakening early and getting your sadhana on. Cold shower, clean body, Meditation, Asana and whatever else gets you centered in grace. See how you feel. You may be surprised. And if you don’t, big deal, it’s only 30 days.

Need some direction in your amrit vela practice?

Come practice with me at 6:30 on Wednesday mornings at Evolve Movement in Cameron Village starting September 7, and at 6:00am at Blue Point Yoga on Fridays starting September 16. We’ll enjoy a vigorous flow with a peaceful meditation and juicy savasana. Come early for some additional centering and meditation time.

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Personal follow up…why you NEED a teacher in your life

I often ask my students in class to “lay it all out on the mat.” Whatever is spinning round the physical or energetic body, bring it, let it slide off the skin, flow IN it, and then work towards the release. Pretty good advice eh? *pat on the back*

In all seriousness though i’ve been bringing up more and more of this lately, and yesterday I realized why. Shoooo here we go.

CONFESSION

i’m am neither perfect, nor perfectly balanced. I get overly exuberant, ignore my own physical and energetic bodies requests and needs, and take life a little too gung-ho at times. So when I walked in to assist MY teacher yesterday the look on her face and the gentle pat on the hand said it all. “News flash Jennifer, you’re taking it too fast, and to far… AGAIN. Reign it in sister.” Wisdom’s little smack in the face, or as my teacher so sweetly called it a “love tap.”

Sometimes it takes that love tap to realize when things are getting a little too imbalanced. To much Sthira not enough Sukha…exuberance verging on the edge of himsa. Breathe sister, come back to your 8 limbs, find your damn center.

II:46 STHIRA-SUKHAM ASANAM

In this sutra, Patanjali explains that every yoga posture needs to be balanced with qualities of Sthira (steady, stable, steadfast) and qualities of Sukham(ease, delight, joy).

It is by practicing both of these extremes, between effort and ease that we find balance in the middle. By performing our yoga postures with qualities of Sthira and Sukha, we find ourselves ‘vibrating’ in the center, in our heart!  Patanjali says that the combination of Sthira and Sukham creates a state of equilibrium (satva) that is without agitation (rajas) or inertia (tamas).
Think of Tadasana (Mountain Pose). While there is a grounding and strong presence in this posture there is also a sense of lightness and ease that allows us to feel 10 feet tall and open to the possibility of the breath. This is the balance. There are some yogis that practice this pose only for their entire lives in order to reach that inexplicable place of light and dark, soft and steady that opens the body-mind connection to the divine. Take that and chew on it.

And yes…I’m not exactly in a place of that balance. But I didn’t really face it until the mirror was placed in front of me. Thanks Teach.

So today I started with a grounding practice, slow movement, meditation and deep breath work to sooth the Autonomic Nervous system. Tomorrow we’ll see what  I need. Heck tonight, in an hour, in 5 breaths i’ll re-evaluate. Constantly cultivating balance, especially when I hate the idea of slowing down.

Namaste Ya’ll

Jennifer

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