December 23, 2009
Here are some essential tips for your Yoga practice, whether you are beginning, or growing your existing practice:
1. Arrive to class early. This allows not only yourself the time to get settled in and to shift your energies from the outside inward, but also is respectful of those who practice with you and the teacher. We all meet on the mat to be completely present in the moment. We create a sacred inner space of nourishment and healing. This can be interrupted by students coming into class after it has started. Understandably, things come up with our schedules (traffic, direction issues etc..) but if you realize that you are arriving after class has begun, please wait until you sense movement in the class before coming in.
2. Honor self-perceptions. As a student, you have the responsibility to listen to the needs of your own body, mind and emotions. Allow yourself to have the ability to adjust your posture, and even coming out of a pose to prevent strain. All judgments are left outside the studio door, your practice is just yours. We learn from listening to our own bodies, explore with your practice to find your edge, and not to push beyond that. Keep in mind that our practice will be different from day to day. Be easy on yourself, allow for limitations to give you information.
3. Yoga requires commitment: commitment to showing up on a regular basis, to being willing to gently try even when you feel tired or checked out, to being open to whatever presents itself, to responding to what is actually happening and not to what you think should be happening. As I’m sure you’ve heard many times and in many forms, yoga is about being true to the present moment. This means developing our conscious ability to observe and participate, and learning how to use our asana practice as a forum for experiencing and enhancing this awareness.
For a list of more essential tips, visit http://www.DivineShantiYoga.com to the “About Yoga” page.
December 16, 2009
It is strange to me to think about 2010 being right around the corner. As each new year begins, we not only reflect on the year in passing but also set great resolutions, dreams, aspirations that carry us through the new one.
If you are looking for a new, meaningful way to introduce 2010, perhaps consider taking a retreat. Sometimes it takes getting away from our regular surroundings to find awareness of all that is there within. A meditation retreat is the perfect opportunity for just that…awareness.
One of my favorite teachers, Michael Stone is hosting a silent meditation retreat from December 28th-January 1st at the Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre in Ontario for 4 nights. Rates for this awesome opportunity are only $400 for the four nights including meals. This retreat includes formal sitting meditation, walking meditation, movement and talks by Michael.
Michael is a Yoga & meditation teacher, psychotherapist and author. For more information about his teachings and events, and to register for this retreat visit http://www.centreofgravity.org
His way of teaching and sharing is selfless, meaningful and his sense of humor is light and enjoyable.
December 9, 2009
Ayurveda, or Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient system of health care that is native to the Indian subcontinent and is presently in use by millions of people all over the world. It is always interests me to explore alternative ways of healing and health care, as great insight has proven it’s effectiveness from these ancient practices.
Ayurveda offers an explanation—and some cures—for fatigue. Unusual mental or physical exertion, stress, and lack of sleep can make people tired. Prevention in these cases simply requires self-observation. Take the time that you deserve during this busy time of year to just observe your body and mind. Let go of any judgment, whether good or bad and just observe with a beginners mind. Sometimes we may find that we are pushing the body and mind beyond their limits. Other times we find that walking or doing some physical work to help increase the body’s energy level.
Other major causes of fatigue include anemia, low gastric fire, and weakness of the liver. If the fatigue is due to anemia, eating iron-rich foods and blood builders such as pomegranate juice, grapes or grape juice, and beets or beet/carrot juice can help. In Ayurvedic beliefs, right-nostril breathing is also helpful; it stimulates the liver, which plays an important role in building the blood. For fatigue caused by physical exertion, drinking fresh orange juice with a pinch of rock salt gives a quick boost. Add 10 drops of lime juice to help the body cool down.
December 1, 2009
During this time of year, we bring to our awareness not only what we are grateful for, but we also think of those in need. This year more than ever, as suffering spreads from our recession a helping hand is paramount.
Here are some ways that you can help your local community, practicing your Karma Yoga, or Yoga of selfless service:
1. Join us this Friday, December 4th at Gotta Yoga Studio for a donation-only Yoga practice at 6:00pm. Collecting NEW items for the Center of Hope Women’s and Children’s Homeless Shelter. They are in need of clothing and sneakers for all sizes (women and children from infants to teens) and toys for all ages. Also, $5 at the door enters you for an amazing auction and raffle to win gift baskets, a free massage, a weekend getaway and more!
2. For Highland Creek, until December 18th during all class times (see updated schedule on website) accepting donations of NEW items for the Battered Women’s Shelter in Charlotte. Many are with children and are starting over with a life of peace. They are in need of clothing in all sizes, toys for all ages, and household items (dishes, towels, small appliances, etc…) AND, for each donated item brought, enters you in a drawing for a FREE Yoga class!
3. Join us this Saturday, December 5th at Community Yoga in Cornelius for a Restorative Yoga Workshop from 6:00-8:00pm. Donation-only class and all proceeds to the Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville. Suggested donation is $25. No muscle strength needed for this restorative practice, you will be fully supported with bolsters and blankets. YUM!