Sunday, November 12, 2017

Yoga for Better Digestion

Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
We've all heard the old saying,  “You are what you eat”.   And while this is generally true, I now believe it's not the whole story.  Many eastern approaches to health and wellness believe that a healthy digestive system is the cornerstone to healthy living.

You probably have a friend who eats whatever she wants and never gains weight or ever complain of symptoms of indigestion like bloating, gas, or heartburn.  While another friend or perhaps yourself seems to eat a healthy and balance diet and constantly experience the discomforts of indigestion.  What’s up with that? 

Digestion


The teachings of Ayurveda would say it’s all about digestion.  Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and an ancient and wholistic healing tradition. Ayurveda teaches that it's not only what we eat that determines the quality of our health and well-being but how well we digest what we take in. 

  "Even nectar can be poisonous if our digestion is weak and poison can become nectar if our digestive power is strong ." - Ayurvedic Saying


This applies to the physical digestion of food as well as for our life experiences, and emotions. But we'll leave that for another post.

A healthy digestive system breaks down what we ingest, absorbs the nutrients , convert it into energy, and eliminate the rest.  But often our digestive system functions less than optimal.  Which leave us feeling sluggish , bloated,  and uncomfortable.

So, we are also what we digest.  

Digestion discomforts usually come in two varieties.  One is from having too much digestive fire which takes the form of indigestion, acid reflux, and heart burn.  On the other hand, when our digestive fire is weak, we often experience constipation, excess gas, and bloating.  

What to Do?


According to the teachings of Ayurveda, there are simple and practical lifestyle choices that supports healthy digestion.  Here's a list of some of them to gently and gradually bring harmony to your digestive system:
  1. Eat whole, real, and seasonal food 
  2. Relax, eat slowly, and chew your food thoroughly
  3. Sip on warm water with lemon and/or ginger or hot tea through out the day, including with meals
  4. Avoid ice-cold beverages with your meal
  5. Eat your largest meal at lunchtime, preferably before 2 pm 
  6. Eat a light dinner, preferably before 8 pm
  7. Take a 15 minute walk after eating
  8. Get regular exercise
  9. Practice yoga

Why Yoga? 


A well-rounded and consistent yoga practice can do wonders for digestive health.  The yoga asanas and breathing exercises can be utilized to address specific digestive woes.  
This week’s yoga practice is designed to address constipation, bloating and excess gas in the system.  Right from the beginning of the practice, we tap into the healing power of the breath with deep breathing to stimulate and soothe the digestive organs.  
The practice consists of two forward bends and one twist to calm the nervous system, cleanse,  and stimulate the digestion process.   The reclining backbend, included in the practice is to cool the system and relieve pressure.  This pose, supta baddha konasana, can be helpful with relieving indigestion, acid reflux, and heart burn after eating. The poses and techniques included in the practice are:
  • Dirgha Pranayama-  3 Part Breath/Complete Yogic Breath
  • Pavanamuktasana - Wind Relieving Pose
  • Dandasana - Staff or Stick Pose
  • Marichyasana - Spinal Twist Pose
  • Sputa Baddha Konasana - Reclining Bound Angle Pose
  • Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend Pose
  • Inverted V Meditation

Your Daily Challenge:


1. Watch the video.
2. Practice the poses and techniques as instructed.
3. Post a photo in the Facebook Group of you doing one of the poses OR of you on your yoga mat.
4. When posting your photo share how the practice made you feel.

You can practice the sequence anytime throughout the day that's convenient.  
Remember to allow 3-4 hours after a large meal and 2 hours after a light meal before practicing yoga.    Enjoy!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Yoga for Better Focus


In our modern, fast-paced, and multitasking society, our attention is constantly being pulled outward in many directions. Some of this is normal as we live in the world.  But sometimes we can become overwhelmed with the happenings of the outer world and loose our ability to focus on any one thing for any significant amount of time.

The good news is that focus is a skill and a habit.  And we can cultivate it. 


A current scientific study confirms what ancient yogis knew experientially.  Yoga can help us cultivate our focus.  One way yoga helps us steady our attention is by teaching us how to draw our energy back into our bodies.  So, we can be in the world honoring our responsibilities and enjoying all the joys the world offers without being over taken by its demands or distractions.  

Practice

And you are well on you way to increasing your capacity to steady your attention.  The poses you learned this first week of our 21 Days of  Yoga Challenge will help you become alert and yet grounded in your body.  Today, day 5 of the challenge, we will put all the week's poses together along with breath awareness and a guided meditation at the end of the practice to form a short, complete, and effective practice.  The practice will help you gather your energy and draw it inward.  Once your energy is collected within, you can direct it as you choose.  This can be powerful in becoming free from constant distraction and grant access to an inner peace. 

Pulling it Together

This week's practice contains the following asanas and techniques you can use anytime you feel scattered or frazzled.  
  • Breath Awareness
  • Tadasana - Mountain Pose
  • Urdhva Hastasana - Upward Hands Pose
  • Vrksasana - Tree Pose
  • Prasarita Padottanasana - Wide-Legged Forward Bend
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward-Facing Dog
  • Savasana - Relaxation Pose
  • Prana Shuddhi - Mental Alternate Nostril Breathing
Often the postures and techniques are referred to by their sanskrit name. Sanskrit is an ancient Indian language.  Many ancient scared text were written in sanskrit and it's considered the language of yoga.  But not all techniques have sanskrit names.
Each pose and technique was chosen for its individual effect as well as for the collective impact they have on cultivating better focus.

Your Daily Challenge:

1. Watch the video.
2. Practice the poses and techniques as instructed.
3. Post in the Facebook Group a photo of you doing one of the poses OR of you on your yoga mat.
4. When posting your picture share how the practice made you feel.
You can practice the sequence anytime that's convenient for you.  But remember to allow 2 hours after eating a light meal and 3-4 hours after a heavy meal.

 Enjoy!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

21 Days of Yoga






  • Are you interested in learning yoga but don’t know where to start?
  • Looking to reboot your yoga practice?
  • Want to enjoy the upcoming holiday season stress free?

I have a special opportunity for you. I’m offering a FREE 21 Days of Yoga Challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to introduce the practice of yoga, show how yoga can be integrated into your daily life, and to form a habit of consistent practice. Let’s do this together. 


 The Challenge 


Creating new habits are often challenging. So, we'll ease into the practice of yoga. During the three week challenge, I will Introduce a new pose each day for the first four days of the week. On the 5th day of the week, I will put the week's poses together with a breath exercise and a meditation to form a short but complete practice. Each practice will be designed to address a common concern of our time.

The first week the sequence will be designed for better focus, the second week it will address better digestion, and the third week it will address better sleep. Each of these practices will hold the potential to improve your daily life. 

Each day of the challenge you will practice the pose or technique of the day. You can extend your daily practice by adding the pose from the previous day or you can decide to do one pose a day. On the fifth day of the week, you will practice the week's full sequence. On the 6th day, you will receive a stand alone meditation or breathing practice, and on the 7th day of the week, you can choose to practice the complete sequence provided on Day 5 again or revisit one or more of the practices of the day to refresh and improve your skill with that practice. This format will be repeated for each week of the challenge.

Each day you will:

  • Watch the video.
  • Practice the poses and techniques as instructed.
  • Post a photo in the Facebook group of you doing one of the poses or techniques or of you on your yoga mat.
  • When posting your photo share how the practice made your feel.


During this challenge you will learn: At least 12 basic asanas (yoga poses) to strengthen and open your physical body, 3 breath exercises to steady your mind and manage your energy, and 3 meditations to help you access your inner creativity and wisdom. 


 What You'll need: 


  • Open Mind - get ready to experience all of what yoga has in store for you
  • Bare Feet 
  • Empty Stomach - allow 3-4 hours after large meal and 2 hours after light snack
  • Designated Practice Space - find a quiet place in your home
  • Yoga Mat or other non-slip surface
  • Yoga Block 
  • Yoga Strap  - a belt, necktie, or towel will work
  • Practice Time- most videos are less than 10 minutes, the full practices are under 30 minutes each
  • Join our Facebook Community, if you haven't already



Practice 


Over time you will build your comfort with practicing yoga and lay the building blocks for a life long practice. The challenge is open to everyone who wishes to experience the benefits of yoga practice and move into a new way of being. 

 I hope you will join me for this 21 Days of Yoga Challenge! 

Please leave a comment of commitment to start and finish this journey with me below. 

Also, Please  leave any questions you may have about the tools you'll need or the challenge it self.


Let's Get Started! Click here to sign up!


 P.S. Your first lesson starts Wednesday, November 1st   

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Got a minute?

Got a minute?  Sure you do.  Watch this video to see how meditating for 1 minute can shift your state of mind and change your day for the better.  Sounds good?  Ok.  Give it a try.  And let me know how it goes.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fish and Possibilities


Certain species of fish grow according to their environment.  Placed in a small tank, these fish remain small.  But when placed in a large tank or natural body of water, they grow to their intended size.  People are similar. When we live in a limited place, physically, mentally, or emotionally, we remain small.  These limitations can be self imposed or externally applied.  They can be tangible or invisible.  But when we live in an open and supportive environment, we can grow to our fullest potential, our intended size.   Yoga invites us to Open to Grace- to Open to All Possibilities that we may recognize our potential and experience and share the fullest expression of ourselves in every moment - to be Fulfilled!
The next time you find yourself living or being smaller than you know you are or if you are not sure how big you can be - Soften and bring your awareness to your breath, without strain or over effort, take a deep and full breath in, use your breath to create an inner spaciousness, lift, and fullness, maintain this space on your exhalation and repeat. Now Grow into that space, into more of your potential, into more of who you are intended to be.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Only Love - The Actual Quote is Even Better


"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."   – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Only Love

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" --Martin Luther King, Jr.  

Yoga for Better Digestion

Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose) We've all heard the old saying,   “You are what you eat” .   And while this is generally tru...