Archive for the ‘Themes’ Category

Today is Makar Sankranti; Celebrate with Kite Pose!

January 14, 2013

butterfly kiteMakar Sankranti (Sanskrit: Shankramana = to begin to move) is a Hindu festival celebrated by many people to celebrate the New Year.  Sankrant, usually celebrated on January 14 is based on the solar calendar (most festivals are based on the lunar calendar). Makar Sankranti is the day when the Sun enters and begins to ascend into the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun represents knowledge, spiritual light and wisdom. During Makar Sankranti we are reminded to turn away from the darkness of delusion, and begin to enjoy a new life.  Our bright inner light begins to shine brighter and brighter as we gradually grow into purity, wisdom, and knowledge.

Kite Festivals are a popular way to celebrate Makar Sankranti.

KITE POSE 1 – Patangasana
(this asana is basically Warrior 3 with airplane wings)

HOW TO:

Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).

Take a step forward with your Right leg.

Raise arms next to your ears as you transfer your weight into your Right leg.

Lift your left leg off the mat, and slowly hinge forward from the hips.

Your raised leg, torso and arms should be parallel to the floor. Arms back to sides like airplane wings

Drishti (eye gaze) is out over your front fingers.

(Repeat with the Left leg forward)

 

KITE POSE 2 – Falling Star (aka Soaring Eagle)

HOW TO:

Begin in 5-pointed star pose (legs 3-4 feet apart, arms at sides parallel to the floor)

Transfer your weight to your right leg

Hold for several Breaths

Return to 5 pointed Star

Repeat on the Left side

Makar Sankranti Blessing:
May the Makar Sankranti fire burn all the moments of sadness and bring you the warmth of joy, happiness and love”

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Yoga pose for New Year’s Day – Gate Pose

December 31, 2012

January 1, New Year’s Day is dedicated to Janus the god of gates, doors and beginnings. 

Celebrate the beginning of a new year with GATE POSE.

gate pose, ParighasanaGate Pose:  Parighasana. (par-ee-GOSS-anna) parigha = an iron bar or beam used for locking or shutting a gate.

How to:

Come to a tall kneel

Extend your right leg out to the side

Inhale, Raise your left arm

Exhale, side stretch out over your right leg

Bring your right arm to the inside of your right leg.  Use the leverage of your arm against your leg to help deepen the stretch, opening your heart chakra to the sky.

Hold for several breaths, then, switch sides

GateVARIATIONS:
-Bend your Right Knee and place your Right foot on the floor (instead of extending your right leg fully)

-Your right hand can reach down your right leg, possibly holding onto your right ankle.

 Revolved Gate Pose

Come to a tall kneel

Extend your right leg out to the side

Inhale, Raise your left arm

Exhale, twist to the right, and bring your left arm to the back of your right leg. Left arm is in the air

Hold for several breaths, then, switch sides

Bound Revolved Gate Pose

Same pose as above,

Then, bring your right arm behind your back and your left arm under your right leg

Clasp hands or wrists

Seated Gate Pose:

Come to a wide knee low kneel

Extend your right leg out to the side (half straddle, your left leg is bent with your calf under your thigh-low kneel)

Inhale, Raise your left arm

Exhale, side stretch out over your right leg

Bring your right arm to the inside of your right leg.  Use the leverage of your arm against your leg to help deepen the stretch, opening your heart chakra to the sky.

Hold for several breaths, then, switch sides

Grab a partner….

Double Gate 1:

Come to a tall kneel several feet apart from each other

Extend your legs so that the side of your foot touches the side of your partner’s foot

Inhale, raise your arms (opposite of your extended leg)

Exhale, side stretch out over your extended legs

Hold hands or wrists with your partner

Hold for several breaths, then, switch sides

Double Gate 2:

Come to a tall kneel next to your partner (hip to hip)

Extend your legs out to the sides (legs that are not touching your partner)

Rise your arm (the arm closest to your partner)

Exhale and side stretch out over your extended legs

Hold for several breaths, then, switch sides

Double Latched Gate:

Come to a tall kneel facing your partner

Come to Gate pose (mirror image, person A extends their right leg, person B extends their left leg)

Bring your extended/supporting arm to your partners extended leg (your partner brings their extended/supporting arm to your extended leg)

Hold the hand or wrist of your partner (use the hand that is opposite of your extended leg)

Hold for several breaths, then, switch sides

Related Post:  Celebrating the New Year with Traditions to Bring Love and Luck!

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As the United States Celebrates it’s Independence, observe this holiday with a Patriotic yoga Practice.

July 3, 2012

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.  ~Albert Camus

Center-seated

Set an intention to be free:  Free from worry, free from hate, free from jealousy, free from whatever you need to let go of in your life.

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.  ~William Faulkner

Warm ups:

Seated Figure Four (Eye of the Needle) toe separation, ankle roll.

Twist

Side Stretch

Repeat on opposite side

Eagle Arms – raise and lower

Table

Down Dog

Rag Doll

Tadasana:

Recenter, repeat Mantra

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Soaring Eagle (Shooting Star – Acticve Balance)

Don’t quack like a duck, soar like an eagle.Ken Blanchard

Eagle Balance

Flow:
*Mountain
Inhale Arms Up
Exhale Fold Forward
Inhale, Look up, Flat back
Exhale, fold forward and step Right Leg Back
Side Angle, Windmill Arms to Reverse Warrior – Repeat 3 times
Step back leg in to Standing split
Look up with a flat back
Exhale fold forward
Inhale Reverse swan dive
Repeat from * on the opposite side

Eagle at Rest (Sleeping Eagle)

Flow to Table

Cat / Cow

Child’s Pose

Squat, Praying Mantis

Proposal Pose

Hip Flexor Stretch

Repeat on opposite side

Sit:
*Half Lord of the Fishes Twist
Lower Legs
Tangled Shoelaces
Fun Turnaround
Repeat From*

Roll back to Floor

Bridge

*Bridge with Figure Four
Lower hips, eye of the needle (legs into chest)
Legs Cross Twist
Repeat From *

Wheel

Both Knees to chest

Bear Pose

Savasana

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”  ― Coco Chanel

Learn More Animal Poses Here

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Color Therapy : What you wear can help your mood!

April 25, 2012

RED:
Need some Strength and Courage?  Are you trying something new?
Over come Negative Thoughts and Bring power and vitality into your life with the color Red.

ORANGE:
Feeling Socially Awkward? Are your feeling down?  
Become socially confident, resourceful cheerful and enjoy relationships with Orange.

YELLOW: Are you having difficulty concentrating?  Are you feeling negative?
Become more optimistic and gain mental clarity with Yellow.

GREEN:  Are you anxious and stressed?
Bring balance, peace, stress relief, calmness,and hope with Green.

AQUA/TURQUOISE:  Feeling insecure and angry?
Come to a place of openness, confidence, and relaxation with Aqua/Turquoise.

BLUE:  Do you have too much stuff going on, need a creative boost?
Bring a sense of mental relaxation, peace, creativity with Blue.

INDIGO:  Does your imagination need a boost?  Have insomnia or difficulty understanding something?
 Spark feelings of  serenity, imagination, accurate perception, understanding and sleep with Indigo.

VIOLET/PURPLE:  Angry, anxious and irritated?
Feel inspired, calm nerves, creative and  beautiful with Violet/Purple.

MAGENTA:  Feeling uneasy and disquieted?
Find relaxation and balance your emotions with Magenta.

PINK:  Are you hungry and feeling aggressive?
Find calmness and relieve stress and suppress your appetite with the color Pink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mudra for April : Bear Grip

April 4, 2012

The Bear Grip Yoga Mudra is used to help with concentration and stimulates the heart chakra and strengthens the heart.  Helps to bring intensity to your yoga practice.

How To:  
Bring your arms in front of your body at chest level.
Left palm facing out, thumb down.
Right palm faces in toward your body, thumb facing up.
Curl your fingers  to look like a Bear Claw
Hook fingers together.
Gently pull your elbows apart.

Use BEAR Grip MUDRA in the Sea-Saw Shoulder Stretch:
Bring your hands to Bear Grip Mudra
Relax your shoulders
Gently pull your arms in opposite directions (Don’t loosen your Bear grip)
Inhale, raise your right elbow (lower left elbow)
Exhale, raise your left elbow (lower right)
Continue sea-sawing your arms moving with your breath and increase speed
Practice for a few minutes

This is a great warm up for shoulders and helps relieve tension.
Read More about MUDRAS here

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Aura Photography post 2 of 2

March 13, 2012

On March 10, 2012, I had an Aura Photograph (Kirlian Photograph) taken by Joel Straup from Star Light Angels  at Thrive Yoga and Health Consulting.  I was anxious to compare my photo with one that was taken in March  2008.  The two photos couldn’t have been more different.  In 2008 My aura showed as mostly red with a bit of purple and a hint of white.  The image that I had taken on Saturday was virtually  rainbow of colors!

Yellow:  Teacher, Reader. Disciplined, an Intellectual, talent for Organization

Violet:  Spiritual in Nature, Mysterious, Intuitive, Imaginative, Has a very Creative mind & reticence.

Blue:  is truth, devotion, wisdom and calm.  Mind moves on a higher level

Red:  Over active, takes on challenges, mood swings

Orange:  Active Intelligence, very creative
Joel also said that I was still healing from an injury.  I nurtured many children in a past life, so I have need for children in this life.  He recommended I wear turquoise with many veins for healing and intuition.  Once again, I feel like my reading was pretty accurate.  I can’t wait to see what future Aura Photos hold.  If you have had Aura Photographs taken, please share your thoughts,

After my reading, I went to Kaleidoscope Angels to purchase some Turquoise Jewelry.

Click Here for Part one

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Aura Photography post 1 of 2

March 8, 2012

On March 8, 2008 I had an Aura Photograph (Kirlian Photograph) taken by Ackbar.  It was interesting and informative.  I had a red glow emanating from around my head, purple at the end over my crown and some white over my shoulder.

RED:
Physical Body: Who am I ? Why am I here? What is my Purpose?
-Re-evaluating belief system
-Choosing more respect for self
-Building Strength for change

VIOLET/PURPLE:
Knowing the truth in all things
– Cosmic Consciousness/Self Service
Precognition (Enhances artistic talents, inspiration, creativity, ideas, passion to complete)
-Old soul teaching others

WHITE (Shoulder)
-Stress, worry, living in the past
-People and events pulling on the energy field no more!
-Setting boundaries to honor yourself

At the time I remember feeling like the readout was right on with how I was feeling.  I needed a change, I was in a rut and kind of unhappy.  I am definitely happier and  calmer at the present.  I’m having a new Aura Photograph taken this Saturday, March 10, 2012 at Thrive Yoga and Health Consulting.  I can’t wait to compare the two and see if there are major differences in my aura.

READ PART 2 HERE

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Mudra for March: Dhyani Mudra

March 2, 2012

Dhyani Mudra  Buddha Mudra), is a Gesture of Meditation.  The Buddha is always depicted with his hands in a yoga mudra.  The Dhyani Mudra is one of the most important of these mudras.  The Amitabha Buddha illustrates the Buddha’s hand in Dhyani Mudra.

Dhyani Mudra is a gesture of absolute balance.

How to Male:
Gently rest your right hand on top of your left hand
Palms facing up
Thumb tips touching

How to Female:
Gently rest your left hand on top of your right hand
Palms facing up
Thumb tips touching

Dhyani Mudra is used in various pranayama techniques as well as meditation.

Read More about MUDRAS here

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Frog Pose for Leap Day!

February 29, 2012

Leap Year occurs about every four years in order to keep our calendar in sync with the seasons.

Celebrate Leap Year with Frog Pose:
Stretches hips, groin and inner thighs

Begin in table Pose
Slide knees out as wide as is comfortable
Align ankles and knees and Turn feet outwards
Try to transition to your forearms
On your next exhale, begin pushing your hips back as far as is comfortable
Hold for a few breaths
Gently transition back into table pose or lower body to the floor

Extended Frog Pose…
Extend your arms farther out in front of you,
lowering your chest closer to the floor

Take it deeper….
Begin in Sphinx pose (belly on the mat, forearms on the floor)
Bend both knees
Reach hands back and hold feet
Fingers point in the same direction as your toes
Lift elbows into the air (pointing to the ceiling)
Gently press the soles of your feet towards the floor
Life your chest as high as possible
Hold for several breaths
Slowly return to your belly

Half Frog…

Begin in Sphinx
Bend left knee
Reach back with your left hand and hold your left foot
Fingers point in the same direction as your toes
Lift elbows into the air (pointing to the ceiling)
Gently press the soles of your feet towards the floor
Life your chest as high as possible
Hold for several breaths
Repeat on the opposite side.

Another Frog Pose:
Begin in a low kneel
Slowly slide your knees out to the sides
Keep your toes touching (behind you)
Place your hands on the mat, palms down
Slide your hands under your knees
Hold for several breaths

Learn More Animal Poses Here

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Welcome to the Year of the Dragon! Celebrate with Dragon Pose!

January 23, 2012

“Gung Hay Fat Choy!” (Happy New Year in Cantonese)

The Dragon is the 5th sign in the Chinese Zodiac, following the Rabbit.

If you were born in 1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988 or 2000 your sign is the dragon.  Find your Chinese Zodiac Sign HERE.

Celebrate the New Year with Dragon Pose (Yin Yoga Variation of Runner’s Lunge)

Dragon Pose is great for the hips, groin, quads and can help with sciatica.

How to:

Baby Dragon (Modified Lunge)

Begin in Down Dog
Step your Right Foot forward, between your hands
Bring your Right knee directly over your right ankle.
Drop your Left Knee to the floor
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:

If you want to go deeper….

Opt. 1:  Bring both hands to the Big toe side of your front foot
Opt. 2:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot: Baby Dragon Flying Low
Opt. 3:  Bring the top of your head to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot

Baby Dragon Flying High (Balancing Modified Lunge)

Begin in Baby Dragon
Bring your Hands to your Right knee
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Twisted Baby Dragon (Twisted Modified Lunge)

Begin in Baby Dragon
Bring your Left hand to the Big toe side of your right foot
Raise your Right Arm
Open your Right Arm out to the Right Side (twist to the side of the front leg)
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:

Opt. 1:  Bend your Left Knee and hold your Left Foot with your Right Hand

Baby Winged Dragon (Modified Lunge with Hip Opener)

Begin in Baby Dragon
Bring both hands to the inside of the right foot
Allow your right knee to roll out to the right side
Come onto the little toe side of the Right Foot

Variation:

Opt. Bring your hands to Blocks

If you want to go deeper….

Opt. 1:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot
Opt. 2:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot, then use your right hand and apply a gentle pressure to your right knee, pushing out.

As always, BACK OFF IF THERE IS ANY PAIN!

Dragon Pose (Lunge)

Begin in Down Dog
Step your Right Foot forward, between your hands
Bring your Right knee directly over your right ankle.
Up on your Left toes, Left knee remains off the floor
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:

If you want to go deeper….

Opt. 1:  Bring both hands to the Big toe side of your front foot
Opt. 2:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot-Dragon Flying Low
Opt. 3:  Bring the top of your head to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot

Dragon Flying Low (Balancing Lunge)

Begin in Dragon Pose
Bring your Hands to your Right knee
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:

Opt. 1:  Bring your hands together in Prayer Position at Heart’s Center
Opt. 2:  Bring your arms over your head, interlace your fingers, index fingers pointing up
Opt. 3:  Begin in Opt. 2 and add a mini back bend

Twisted Dragon Pose (Twisted Lunge)

Begin in  Dragon
Bring your Left hand to the Big toe side of your right foot
Raise your Right Arm
Open your Right Arm out to the Right Side (twist to the side of the front leg)
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:
Opt. 1:  Bend your Left Knee and hold your Left Foot with your Right Hand

Winged Dragon  (Lunge with Hip Opener)

Begin in Dragon Pose
Bring both hands to the inside of the right foot
Allow your right knee to roll out to the right side
Come onto the little toe side of the Right Foot
Hold
Repeat on the Left

Variation:

If you want to go deeper….

Opt. 1:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot
Opt. 2:  Bring your Forearms to the floor on the big toe side of your front foot, then use your right hand and apply a gentle pressure to your right knee, pushing out.  As always, BACK OFF IF THERE IS ANY PAIN!

Dragon Split
Begin in Baby Dragon
Slowly slid your Right foot forward, straightening out the Right Knee

Variation:
Opt:  Place a block under your right thigh

If you want to go deeper….
Opt: Slowly fold forward out over your Right Leg

Learn More Animal Poses Here

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