Posts Tagged ‘yoga classes’

2016 is a year of the Monkey! Celebrate with Hanumanasana (monkey pose)

February 5, 2016

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

2016 is the Year of the Monkey! Celebrate with Monkey Pose!

Monkey is the 9th sign in the Chinese Zodiac, following the sheep.
In Hatha Yoga, Monkey Pose is Hanumanasana (hah-new-mahn-AHS-anna).

Monkey Pose is named for the Hindu monkey god, Hanuman

Monkey Pose helps to stretch the groin, thighs, hips, and hamstrings.
Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana) this is a basic split asana where your legs are ‘split’ forward and backwards.

Monkey Pose may be easier to do on a hard (uncarpeted floor) without a yoga mat – try it while wearing socks.
You may also want to place a cloth under each knee.

Come to a tall kneel
Step right foot forward
On your next exhale lean your torso forward and bring your hands to the floor
Slowly slide your right foot forward and your left leg back
Stop before you feel pain, only go to where you are comfortable
Hold pose for about 30 seconds, then switch sides

Work towards having both front and back legs straight.
Your torso should be straight and your hands should rest comfortably on the floor

Not ready for a full split? Try placing a block under your front thigh.
This will help support your body

You can also place each hand on a block instead of placing your hands on the floor

Half Monkey  (this is also called Modified Pyramid or Kneeling Runner’s Stretch) – Keep back leg  at 90 degrees. Slide Front foot forward. Hands rest on either side of your calf.

Variation 1:
When you have mastered the split and are comfortable,
raise your arms in the air (King Monkey)
Dristi or gaze is at your finger tips

Variation 2:
Come to Full expression of monkey pose
Fold forward out over your front leg

Variation 3:
Twisted Monkey – twist towords your front leg

Variation 4:
Open Hearted Monkey – Add a chest expansion

Variation 5:
Peaceful Monkey – Inhale arms into the air
If right leg is in front, lower left arm, left hand to left leg opening the heart chakra

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Pickles, Birthday Cake and The 5th Chakra

February 19, 2015

Yesterday it was my Birthday…..

chakraNumber5I began my 42 year of life with no voice (my 41 B-day was 2/18). I have laryngitis and an ear infection so, I also am having trouble hearing. I have never really lost my voice before. It’s an interesting experiment to try to not talk. I had to teach a yoga class yesterday while remaining silent. When I try to speak, just a horse, raspy whisper comes out and I am reminded that when I speak, I am just delaying my illness.

I had a sore throat (along with a nasty upper respiratory infection that that me at Urgent Care twice) that began on Feb. 6. I have been ‘voiceless’ for about a week. I keep trying out my voice and expecting it to be there. Back and stronger than ever, but only whispers come out.

I’ve tried everything from salt water gargling to pickle juice, but nothing is working. Yesterday in a fit of pickles
desperation I followed a friends advice. On my lunch break, I went our and bought a jar of pickles (I DO NOT LIKE PICKLES). She said “drink pickle juice, it works every time.”
I drank some, it didn’t work. Plus, I spilled it all over myself and my car while trying to swallow it.

In Yoga and Hindu tradition, my current allurements are a result from a blocked Throat Chakra. The Throat Chakra, Vishuddha (the 5th Chakra) deals with our speech, and our creative being, our self expression our very ‘me-ness.’ Communication. The Throat Chakra is all about communication. What am I not communicating that I should be? I’m not sure….

This past year has not been a good one for me. It may very well be one of the worst I’ve ever had. It’s been filled with loss and more loss. Loss in a way I have never experienced before. Yet, life goes on. My life has gone on AND there has been a lot of good that’s happened in the last 12 months.

Since I turned 40…
my 40th year

I Participated with Baxter in ‘Bark for Life‘ for the 2nd year in a row
Got a matching Pac Man/Ms PacMan tattoo with Bobby
Participated in the Phoenixville Dogwood Festival and Parade
Skated in the Fourth of July Parade in Pottstown
Ran a Warrior Dash!
Saw Motley Crue
Started Freelancing Photography and Story Writing for Newspapers
Painted a Halloween Window in Pottstown with some of my Derby Team and we won
Was a runner chasing Zombie
Got my pretty Pixel Styx Catahula
Cut my hair into a purple Mohawk
Played my 3rd (2nd with PRDR) season of Roller Derby
Practiced with a Renegade (no rules, co-ed) Roller Derby Team

I pretty much have most things I have wanted. Generally, I am happy or pretend to be, hopefully, I’ll soon be on the mend. Fingers crossed that whatever I need to face, I’m able to.

Healing affirmations for Throat Chakra from Louise Hay
(check her out: , her affirmations are always perfect no matter what you need).
It’s ok to make noise.

I speak up for myself with ease.

I express my creativity.

I am willing to change.

Note:  I typed this in Open Office and wanted to save the file as today’s date and  No Voice.
When I was closing the document, the screen asked if I wanted to save before closing. I read the file name (021915_novice) as nov·ice I wonder it that has meaning.

Nervous about beginning a Meditation Practice?

March 5, 2013

BreatheI have a high-strung friend who messaged me recently. He was looking for ways to relax and let go.

He, like a lot of people find the thought of MEDITATING intimidating, but actually, most people are doing mini meditations all the time.

Think about when you are angry, do you count to ten? – meditation.
Do you count sheep to take your mid off of things so you can sleep? – meditation
Maybe you take a walk or ride a bike, these things can also be meditative

There is no reason to be scared, meditation is for everyone. Anyone can do it.

I started him off with one of my favorite meditations:  Easy Self Guided Bareh Count Down Meditation.

I do this one constantly. It’s easy to remember and simple enough to do it anywhere, anytime.

Learn More about MEDITATION, Click HERE
LEARN MORE Pranayama (Breath Control) HERE.
Dhyana-Perfect Contemplation
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February 10, 2013 began the Year of the Snake in the Chinese Zodiac

February 11, 2013

ImageAccording to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2013 is the Year of the Snake, began on February 10, 2013

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

The Snake is the 6th sign in the Chinese Zodiac, following the Dragon
Find your Chinese Zodiac Sign HERE.


Celebrate with COBRA POSE (Naga-asana)
ImageThe Sanskrit word naga means snake or serpent.

HOW TO: Snake Pose 

  • Lie on your stomach, face down, legs and feet together. 
  • Place your hands on the mat under your shoulders. 
  • Inhale as you raise your head off the mat (use your core, without pushing up with your hands).
  • Press into your hands elevating your torso to your fullest extent
  • Hold for several breaths
  • Exhale, slowly lower your body to the mat

Option: add a ‘hissing sound when you are raised in cobra pose


Cobra with lion face

Knees bent feet in the air

Baby cobra – Cobra with bent elbows

Wide Leg Cobra

Twisted Cobra

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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)


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)


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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August 21, 2012

I seem to be an emotional mess.  Is it because in my family you could never show emotion?  Now I cry all the time.  How can anyone take me seriously when as soon as there is a difficult situation the tears come out.  I am frustrated and I am crying.  Something happened at work, and I only care about it a little bit. I’m not really upset about it, just frustrated.  As soon as I try to express my feelings to my boss, I begin crying.  It really sucks.

In general, I am really happy.  I love my life and my job.  I like where I am and where I am going.  So, why the tears?  How can I stop them?

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High School reunion and happiness. How do you judge success?

August 3, 2012

I recently went to my 20 year High School reunion.  What a strange experience.  There are only a few times a year that you are forced to really examine your life.  The New Year and your birthday force you to look at your accomplishments and failures, but a High School Reunion forces major reflection.

You end up having your whole being reduced to a few bullet points.

  • Married?
  • House?
  • Kids?
  • Career?
  • Overweight? (women)
  • Bald? (Men)

Based on the above criteria, how do you stack up?  How do I?

I’m married and have a house.  I have a dog, a cat and a day job I (mostly) like.

I really need to lose some weight.  No kids and I have all my hair.

Do those things equal success.  Does it for me?

How do you judge success?

What did I want to accomplish in my life that I haven’t?  What dreams are lost to me?

How can you objectively answer those questions?  Whose standards are we using?

I’ve been examining my life for a few months and I have no answer.

FaceBook has really changed the scope of High School Reunions.  I graduated in a class of just under 300 students. I’m FB friends with maybe 75 of them.  About 55-60 alumni came tot he reunion.  I think there was just one guy at the reunion that didn’t have a FaceBook account.  I kept in touch with my classmates virtually.

Several people (who I had not seen since graduation in 1992) came up to me and said “Hi!  This must be Bob!”  My husband was instantly recognizable to people he has never met because of the photos I post online.

I feel a little bit sad about the past,  little reminiscent, and a bit nostalgic, but I know I would never want to relive my teenage years.  There is no way I would ever want to go back to that time.  I am 38 years old and 1988/1989 were the worst years of my life.  I was the most unhappy and desolate at 14.  I am much more happy now.

My whole life was reaffirmed when a former classmate said to me “I like to see all of your FaceBook updates.  You seem so happy.”

I really hope that is how people view me.  I hope that I am remembered for being happy.

Happiness = Success
I win.
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Surya Mudra for July

July 9, 2012

Surya (Ravi) Mudra Surya means sun. The sun is a source of energy. The Surya Mudra attracts energy of the Sun.  This mudra reduces the Earth (Prithvi) Element and increases the Fire (Agni) Element in the body.

The Surya Mudra helps with weight loss.  It is said to help lower bad cholesterol.  This Mudra also fires up the metabolism and body temperature.  Surya helps strengthen eyesight.

 How To:

Place the tip of your Thumb on the tip of your Ring finger.

This Mudra can also be done by placing the pad of your Thumb over the second section of your ring finger.


Practice his Mudra  daily at any time.  You can practice this Mudra while standing, sitting, or even walking.  You can practice this Mudra on each hand separately or together.

Shuni Mudra is used in various pranayama techniques as well as meditation, but try it in some other asanas:

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Vrkasana (Tree Pose)
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Try using Shuni Mudra  during centering at the beginning of your Yoga Practice & during Meditation & Pranayama.

You can also try Mudras in your everyday life.  Try the Surya Mudra while watching TV or waiting in line.

Read More about MUDRAS here

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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


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.


Side Stretch

Repeat on opposite side

Eagle Arms – raise and lower


Down Dog

Rag Doll


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

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

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

Roll back to Floor


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


Both Knees to chest

Bear Pose


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

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Shuni Mudra for June

June 6, 2012

Shuni Mudra

Shuni, Saturn in Sanskrit, is the Seal of Patience.
(Saturn represents the taking of responsibility the thumb is ego)

This mudra can bring calmness and commitment.  Shuni Mudra helps with insomnia, depression and nausea.

How to:
Bring the tip of your middle finger together with the tip of your thumb.  This forms a circle.  This Mudra is like creating the ‘OK’ symbol with your middle finger (instead of your index finger).  You can keep your hands upright or rest the back of your hands on your knees.

Make the Shuni Mudra more active, bring your thumb to the nail of the index finger.

Shuni Mudra is used in various pranayama techniques as well as meditation, but try it in some other asanas:

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Vrkasana (Tree Pose)
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Try using Shuni Mudra  during centering at the beginning of your Yoga Practice & during Meditation & Pranayama.


Read More about MUDRAS here

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