Posts Tagged ‘spring equinox’

Beware the Ides of March Yoga Themes and Corpse Pose

March 15, 2011

There is so much going on in March, and lots of fun Yoga tie-ins.
March comes in like a lion…(Click Here for Lion Yoga Post)
March 2nd is Dr Seuss’ Birthday…(Click Here for Seuss Yoga)
March is National Woman’s History Month…(Celebrate your inner Goddess Post Here)
Lent Began on March 9…(Fasting, Abstinence and Yoga Post Here)
Yesterday was Pi Day…(Pi day….1/2 Circle Yoga Pose Post Here)

…and that brings us to today:
The Ides of March

Lets spend some extra time in Corpse Pose – Savasana!

Lay down on your back in any comfortable Dead Man’s Pose

Legs Extended, allow the feet to fall out to the sides
(Knees Bent, Feet on the floor if that is better for your back)
Arms are at your sides, hands lower than your heart
Palms Facing up in a gesture that is open and receptive
Press into your elbows and tuck your shoulder blades under
Tip Your chin so your spine is nice and long
Settle in, close your eyes (try an eye pillow to allow sense withdraw)
Make any adjustments you need to allow you to relax and release into the pose
(you can cover yourself with a blanket, put on socks or a sweatshirt)
Begin to Focus on your Breath
Breathing in and out through your nose
Allowing your Belly, Ribs & Chest Expand on the inhale
Allow your Chest, Ribs & Belly to relax on the exhale
Focus on your Breath, Breathing in and out.

If you like you can do a Guided Meditation, or try a Self Guided Relaxation.

Here’s an easy Relaxation Exercise:

Inhale, and as you exhale relax and release into the floor while mentally thinking the number 12.

Take another slow full deep breath in, exhale, relax and release a litter further, mentally thinking 11.

Continue on in this way, focusing on your breath, mentally counting backwards, and relaxing and releasing with each breath out.

If you find that you reach Zero and your mind or body is still racing, simply begin again at 12.


March 17, Saint Patrick’s Day…(Post Coming soon)
March 19, 2011 is a ‘Supermoon‘….(Celebrate with Chandra Namaskar)
March 20 is the Vernal Equinox(Yoga for Balance)

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Alternate Nostril Breathing: (Nadi Shodhana or Anuloma Viloma )

September 20, 2010

Alternate Nostril Breathing: (Nadi Shodhana or Anuloma Viloma )

Without know it, our natural breathing alternates from one nostril to the next.  We breathe through one nostril for about 2 hours, then we breath through the other nostril for around 2 hours and we continue on in this way.

The Right Nostril is considered Masculine; it controls energy, heat, force and competition

The Left Nostril is Feminine; it controls nurturing, calming and coolness.

Alternate Nostril Breathing is a technique in which you inhale through one nostril, and exhale through the opposite nostril.

This technique helps direct Prana (energy).  Alternating your breathing nostrils helps to bring balance to your life.  By soothing the nervous system, you become more relaxed and sleeping improves.  Practicing Nadi Shodhana is a great way to prepare for meditation.

How to Practice Nadi Shodhana

Come to a comfortable seated position

Begin to notice your breath

Begin with a few rounds of Dirga Pranayama (Three Part Breath)

When you are ready to begin, choose your hand position*.

Close your eyes.

Close your Left Nostril and Inhale through your Right Nostril

Switch Nostrils and Exhale through your Left Nostril (Right nostril is now closed)

Inhale through your Left Nostril (Switch fingers closing your left nostril and opening your right)

Exhale through your Right Nostril

This equals one round.  Try to repeat 6 more times for a total of 7 rounds.



After all seven rounds are complete, return to normal breathing.

*Mudras for Alternate Nostril Breathing

Vishnu Mudra:  use your right hand.  Right thumb holds right nostril closed, curled index and middle finger controls the left nostril.

I prefer to use a third eye mudra.  With your right hand, place your index and middle finger together on your third eye (Ajna chakra, the place between and slightly above your eyebrows).  Right thumb controls the right nostril, and the bent ring and pinky fingers control the Left nostril.
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Clean Your Yoga Mat!

April 13, 2010

Guerilla Yoga at the Spring Equinox Festival

Have you been participating in some Guerilla Yoga (Yoga Outside)?  Do you have a dirty yoga mat?

Sweat, mud, germs, gym floors and nature can all create a dirty yoga mat.  It’s ok to clean them.  Of course you can buy a mat cleaner, but why bother when you can make an eco-friendly cleaner at home?

There are a lot of recipes out there:

Try one of these:

Mat Cleaner 1

1 part (like 1 Cup) Vinegar with

3 parts Water (3 Cups)

1 teaspoon of Tea Tree Essential Oil*

Combine all ingredients and put in a clean, labeled spray bottle.  Spray your mat with the mixture and wipe with a clean cloth.

Mat Cleaner 2

1 part Witch Hazel (like ¼ Cup)

4 parts Water (1 Cups)

1 teaspoon of Tea Tree Essential Oil*

Combine all ingredients and put in a clean, labeled spray bottle.  Spray your mat with the mixture and wipe with a clean cloth.

*Tea Tree Oil has antiseptic and antifungal properties

In addition to the Tea Tree Oil, you can also add a few drops of another essential oil for scent.  If you practice outside and insects are a problem try adding some lavender or citronella essential oils.

You can also safely wash your Yoga Mat in the Washing Machine!

Use a Gentle Detergent

Wash your mat in Cold Water (separately from your clothes)

Remove before the Spin Cycle

Hang your mat over a clothesline or a shower rod to dry

Of course you can also use a cloth Yoga Rug or a Sticky/Cloth mat combination.

Outside Yoga Circle

I use:  Cotton Multi Shade Yoga Rug in conjunction with Extra Long 1/4” Deluxe Yoga Mat.

When my Yoga Rug gets dirty, I toss it in the washing machine (Cold Wash, Cold Rinse) and I hang it up to dry.  When my sticky mat gets dirty, I wipe it down with a damp cloth, and/or a homemade cleaning solution.

Give them a try and let me know what works for you.
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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

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.


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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!

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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.