Archive for March, 2010

Ishvara Pranidhana – Celebration of the Spiritual

March 29, 2010

Ishvara Pranidhana – Celebration of the Spiritual

Ishvara pranidhana surrender to god, or a higher power. Ishvara pranidhana requires that we set aside some time each day to recognize that there is some omnipresent force larger than ourselves that is guiding and directing the course of our lives. Ishvara pranidhana provides a pathway through the obstacles of our ego toward our divine nature—grace, peace, unconditional love, clarity, and freedom. Ishvara Pranidhana is to live an ethical lifestyle of non-harming, honesty, charity, purity, contentment, and discipline. All we have to do is let go.

Things you can try to practice Ishvara pranidhana

Do something meaningful

Set aside time to get quiet, clear and centered

Notice how a glass of water tastes

Try to feel before you act

Affirmation for Ishvara pranidhana

I see the divine in all beings

I am one with the universe

I am filled with light

Journal Writing Exercises:

When and how do you feel connected to the universe?

When do you feel separated from the universe?

How well do you honor all creatures?

How do you already practice Ishvara pranidhana?

Yoga Posture for Ishvara pranidhana:  Padmasana, Lotus pose

Posture perfect for Meditation since you can sit straight and be absolutely still.

See all the 8 Limbs of Yoga Posts HERE

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Spring Valley Friends….

March 26, 2010

YogagrrrlI will be subbing for the Spring Valley Saturday (March 27) 8:45AM yoga class!  Come on out, and remember to stay for the 9:45 AM Body Flow class.

Free Your Feet and Spread Your Toes

March 24, 2010

Nice weather is finally rolling in here in PA.  It’s time to free your feet. My favorite warm weather foot wear are Yoga Sandals.

yoga sandals

Show off your pedicure and help the health of your feet.  Shoes are brutal to our toes.  Teach your toes to straighten out, support good foot health and reduce pain.

In yoga we try to spread our toes.  Many yogis use toe spreaders when they walk around the house to help train their tootsies and reverse the effects of toe cramping shoes.  My Favorite toe spreaders are ‘Pampered Toes‘ but pedicure toe spreaders work well too.  I love to wear ‘Yoga Sandals‘ in warm weather and get toe spreading benefits all day long!

Click Here for Yoga Sandal info

Yoga Journal Article:  Spread ‘Em

Gel Toes Spreaders on Amazon

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Thanks to all who made the Spring Equinox Festival at the Labyrinth a success!

March 23, 2010

Click Here to view more Spring Equinox Festival Photos

Need some Yoga Nidra at home?

March 18, 2010
Try this FREE Yoga Nidra Podcast from Elsie Escobar!

Episode 62: Yoga Nidra Yourself Out! 65 min Deep Meditative Relaxation
ReleasedJan 25, 2008

Wow! a 65 minute Yogic Sleep, of course relaxation. Yoga Nidra coming your way! I had such a great time recording this Yoga Nidra! Experience

Wondering what Yoga Nidra is Exactly?
Click Here

Want to Check out Elsie Escobar?

Yoga Nidra Info Sheet

March 12, 2010

‘Tinkerbell, you know that place between sleep and awake, the place where youcan still remember dreaming? That’s where Ill always love you” -Peter Pan

About Yoga Nidra:

Yoga Nidra means “Yoga Sleep” it is a restful place between sleep & awake.
It’s a state of conscious deep sleep,

Yoga Nidra is an extended yoga relaxation.

It can help: reduce tension, anxiety, headaches and helps with insomnia

Yoga Nidra should only be engaged as a  guided, facilitated practice, with an experienced yoga teacher who verbally delivers the instructions.

There are eight stages of Yoga Nidra:  Internalisation, Sankalpa*, Rotation of Consciousness, Breath Awareness, Manifestation of Opposites, Creative Visualization, Sankalpa, Externalisation

You may want to bring:

  • A mat or towel
  • Socks
  • A blanket
  • Something to cover your eyes with:  Cloth, Eye mask, Towel or Eye pillow
  • A Journal

You will be asked to set a Sankalpa, a positive intention, a chosen resolution made during the practice of yoga nidra

Focus on the results you want (rather than thinking about what you don’t)

Sample Sankalpa: ‘I am relaxed and at peace with myself’

* A Sankalpa is a resolve or intention
Visit – http://www.secondstartotherightyoga.com/

YAMS & The Get Some Show Made the Reading Eagle

March 9, 2010

Check it out on the web:
http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=203290

or on the Front Page of Section E….LIFE

YAMS & the "Get Some" Show

Kate & Jesi

Spring Township, PA – If you don’t click on the wrong channel or incorrectly type a Web site into your computer when you are trying to find a show produced by Penn State Berks WPSB-TV, you could “Get Some.”

Get what?

Related Articles
How to watch

About Alice Holland

Types of programming
[+] Enlarge. (2 pictures)

Lauren A. Little
Kate L. Donehower, a sophomore from Lansdale, Montgomery County, during a taping of the “Get Some” TV program at Penn State Berks.
A show with health information.

Is the show about what you suspect it’s about?

Yep.

How’s it spelled.

S-E-X.

What’s it mean?

Enlightenment and sexual health.

Three cheers for that.

In its second year, “Get Some” is the collaborative brainchild of Alice R. Holland, a certified nurse practitioner and supervisor of the Health Services Department at Penn State Berks, Spring Township, and several journalism and broadcasting students.

Holland also teaches courses in health and human sexuality and is a human sexuality doctoral student.

“I wanted to find a creative way to get across information on a variety of health topics,” Holland said, adding that she hosts “Get Some,” a campus television show aimed at college-aged adults to encourage learning about human sexuality and health.

The show is filmed monthly before a live interactive student audience at the Perkins Student Center.

This year, “Get Some” has already tackled such topics as yoga for sexual health and using meditation to assist with moods and relationships. Another program was dedicated to giving students tips to have a safe spring break, especially in locations far from home or abroad.

For most shows, expert guests are interviewed or answer student questions, and creative techniques also are encouraged to make a program more fun or interactive.

For example, in the program emphasizing safety on spring breaks, a multicolored beach ball was tossed around the audience.

When students caught it, their fingers touched certain colored sections of the ball, each section overlayed with written topics that could be addressed.

Among the health-oriented topics were avoiding alcohol or drug abuse, indulging in safe sex, being wary of pickpockets, securing personal property from theft, keeping the body hydrated, using sunscreen and being knowledgeable and respectful of one’s surroundings.

In addition, students were made aware of the advantages of establishing a buddy system, not undertaking an activity that could easily lead to injury and being aware of native foods and water that may cause digestive upset.

“Young people are inclined to have fun, but we stressed using common sense in that program,” Holland said. “If something doesn’t look or feel safe, students should avoid it.”

Part of spring-break program was to encourage students to take “The Safe Spring Challenge” with a “Not Tonight” theme. It offered students prizes and credit for attending a workshop if they gave up alcohol or tobacco and asked them to submit their stories and photos to Holland.

“It (‘Get Some’) is a cool show that engages students and gives them a comfortable format to tackle some sensitive topics,” said Nate Lee, 20, Palymra, Lebanon County, current WPSB-TV (Channel 5) club president, studying broadcast journalism.

“Students also are having fun while learning,” said Iman McDonnaugh, 18, Freeport, N.Y., a freshman studying communications who also served as a co-host of the spring-break program.

Holland said Dale Lefever, past president of WPSB-TV and a Penn State Berks 2009 graduate with a degree in information science and technology, was instrumental in getting the program started.

Jeff Fazio, assistant director of student affairs at Penn State Schuylkill, who formerly worked at the Berks campus, also assisted with the show’s logo design, Holland said.

“Each embraced my concept of pairing my health background with expertise in broadcasting,” she said.

Megan O’Malley, Sinking Spring, a part-time faculty member teaching a yoga class on campus, was joined by Jesi Yost, Shillington, a yoga instructor, for another “Get Some” program.

They demonstrated yoga positions designed to increase student awareness of their bodies, improve flexibility and spark human connections with others.

“Yoga is not just about stretching and breathing exercises,” O’Malley said. “It is a physical, emotional and spiritual practice that provides guidelines for behavior.

“It’s about making a connection, but it also helps in opening yourself up when it comes to building a relationship and sharing intimacy with your partner.”

She made students aware of a variety of poses, some of them outlined in an article on partner yoga that teaches couples how to deepen trust and enhance intimacy.

O’Malley debunked any student belief that yoga is only for women, noting the greatest yoga masters in Hindu culture are men. She said women were once even forbidden to practice it.

O’Malley responded to a blunt and somewhat sexist query: “Do you think men prefer their girlfriends to be familiar with yoga when it comes to bedroom activities?”

“I think women prefer men who do yoga,” she said. “Yoga is not just a woman thing. This is a practice that has mutual benefits for both sexes.”

Walking the Labyrinth

March 4, 2010

Labyrinths are walking meditation tool.

You can walk through the Labyrinth anyway you like:  fast, slow, happy, somber, playful or serious.

The labyrinth path has three stages – the journey inward, the centre and the outward journey.

  • Take a moment before entering the Labyrinth to become focused and centered, you can set a resolution or intention here if you like.
  • Enter the Labyrinth:  the journey inward.  As you begin to walk the Labyrinth, turn your thoughts inward.  Try to focus on releasing things that keep you from being whole.
  • When you reach the center of the Labyrinth:  this is a place of peace and meditation.  Spend a few moments here.  Check in with yourself; see how you are feeling.  Remind yourself of your resolution or intention here.
  • As you begin your outward journey:  Concentrate on your relationships.  Think about your relationship with yourself and how you interact with others.
  • As you exit the Labyrinth, restate your resolve or intention.  Take a moment to be thankful for the experience.

Many people like to reflect on their Labyrinth journey by journaling their feelings.

 

Visit the Labyrinth Garden at Penn State Berks campus

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Vernal (Spring) Equinox

March 4, 2010

(ver = spring; equinox =equal night)

Sun will cross directly over the Earth’s equator on March 20, 2010, this will give us about 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night.

The vernal Equinox is celebrated as a time of growth and renewal.

In ancient times, Europeans celebrated the coming of the Goddess of Spring- Ostera also known as Eostre.

Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox and it is thought that Easter gets its name from Eostre, she had an enchanted rabbit that could lay eggs.

Vernal Equinox Traditions:

Pagan tradition may include a green cloth, candle, soil, seed, flowers, paper and a pen on the altar. There’s a dance around an imaginary circle clock-wise. Each participant records desires on paper,  then the paper is burned. The ashes are then mixed with the soil.

Persians have a dinner made up of seven foods, beginning with the letter ‘S.’ Table decorations include a mirror, a bowl of water with one freshly-picked green leaf and a centerpiece of candles.

Eggs are often colored and covered with symbols that represent wisdom, strength, and fertility.

On the Vernal Equinox, it’s said that it is possible to balance a raw egg on its side.

Children’s Ostara Chant

Welcome, welcome, warm fresh earth!
Today we celebrate rebirth!
Blowing wind, rising sun,
Bringing the spring to everyone!
Rabbits hopping, chicks in the nest,
Spring is the season we love the best!
Celebrate the green of the earth with me –
Happy Ostara, and blessed be!

More Calendar Theme Yoga Poses

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Spring Equinox Festival at the Labyrinth, PSU-Berks

March 4, 2010

Who: The Vernal Equinox celebration is open to everyone

What: The Vernal Equinox is an important day in Yoga.  It’s the first day of Spring and a day in perfect balance.

When: Saturday, March 20, 2010 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Where: Penn State Berks Campus at the Labyrinth;   Tulpehocken Road & Broadcasting Road

Cost: Free

1:30 PM Program Portion (at the Labyrinth)

2:15 – 3:00 PM Yoga class/Demonstration (Janssen Center)

3:00 – 4:00 PM Exeter Concert Band Performs

Ongoing venders and a Drum Circle

The Labyrinth is a spiritual tool. A labyrinth is symbolic of the journey to the center of yourself.  The Labyrinth is a meditation tool that can be walked. The labyrinth path has three stages – the inward journey, the centre and the outward journey. The theme of the inward journey is letting go of things that hinder our wholeness. The centre of the Labyrinth is a place of meditation and peace. The outward journey represents relationships – with others, the planet, the universe and us.

Equinox translated literally, means “equal night.” Because the sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes.  People have been marking and celebrating the Vernal (Spring) Equinox for thousands of years. The vernal equinox is celebrated as a time of renewal and growth. Some popular features of this tradition include a green cloth, candle, soil, seed, flowers, paper and a pen. A dance is performed in a clock-wise circle. Desires are written on the paper, and then burned.  The paper ashes are then mixed with the soil.

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