April 25, 2010
In the yogic practice of breath control (pranayama), the exhale has a special function. While the inhale is stimulating, the exhale is relaxing. While the inhale is about bringing energy into the body, the exhale is about releasing stress, toxins, tension and pain. When we find ourselves in an agitated state, we have a tendency to not completely release our air as we breathe, and take shorter breaths and concentrate on taking more air in.
It is truly the exhalation that brings us into a more calm, centered state of being. Because of this, you can use conscious breathing as a break in your day. By focusing on your exhale, you can let go of the past and come into the present with a renewed commitment. Here’s how:
Sit up in your chair with your feet on the floor and a long spine. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Begin with expanding your belly as you inhale, and naturally contracting it as you release your air. Inhale through the nose, feeling your spine get longer and taller. Then exhale through your mouth with a deep sigh. As you exhale, visualize the moments of your day moving away from you.
April 18, 2010
I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful array of Yoga classes and workshops available so close to home and want to share them with you!
This weekend: Friday, April 23rd 6-8pm Restorative Yoga Workshop at Balance Wellness Center in Concord with Jessica Bowles, Live Kirtan by Sam Noto and Massage by Leslie Monger. http://www.balancewellnesscenter.com
Saturday, April 24th 10am Laughter Yoga in Charlotte http://www.meetup.com/http-www-yogahealthsolutions-com-programs-asp-yoga/
Saturday, April 24th 2:30-4:30 Core Dynamics Yoga Workshop at Gotta Yoga Studio in University City with Shanna Small. http://www.gottayogastudio.com
Weekend of May 1st & 2nd: Peter Sterios teacher training, Gravity & Grace at Yoga Flex in Charlotte. http://www.yogaflexnc.com
Sunday, May 2nd: Women’s Drumming Meetup at Lotus Living Arts Studio in Concord.
Saturday, May 15th 2:00-4:00 Partner Yoga Workshop at Gotta Yoga Studio with Allison Ford and myself. http://www.divineshantiyoga.com
Surely a feast of bliss, and I’m going to try to make them all!
April 11, 2010
Aadil Palkhivala’s description of the meaning of Namaste
The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”
To perform Namaste, we place the hands together at the heart charka, close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect. Although in the West the word “Namaste” is usually spoken in conjunction with the gesture, in India, it is understood that the gesture itself signifies Namaste, and therefore, it is unnecessary to say the word while bowing.
We bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of Divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart. One can do Namaste to oneself as a meditation technique to go deeper inside the heart chakra; when done with someone else, it is also a beautiful, albeit quick, meditation.
For a teacher and student, Namaste allows two individuals to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness, free from the bonds of ego-connection. If it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom.
Ideally, Namaste should be done both at the beginning and at the end of class. Usually, it is done at the end of class because the mind is less active and the energy in the room is more peaceful. The teacher initiates Namaste as a symbol of gratitude and respect toward her students and her own teachers and in return invites the students to connect with their lineage, thereby allowing the truth to flow—the truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.
April 7, 2010
Do your weekends feel more exhausting than refreshing?
Do your Monday’s feel like a drag?
Join us for an unwinding Sunday evening practice at Gotta Yoga Studio every 2nd Sunday of each month, starting April 11th!
You’ve conquered the week of tasks, played hard all weekend and now you gotta replenish your energy through this gentle, slow-flowing practice with guided meditation. Your Monday morning bliss will thank you!
Each monthly class will introduce new meditation techniques and will have extended relaxation periods. Enjoy 90 minutes at your week’s end to settle into peace and harmony for a fulfilling night’s rest and to start your week off right! Regular class pass honored.