Category Archives: Restorative yoga

Winter & Yoga

Dear Yoga Friends,

Winter is upon us and so is the “holiday Season”. Rather than get caught up or annoyed with the frenzy of consumerism that seems to dominate western culture, let’s be closer to each other.

We are a species profoundly interconnected and interdependent. Keep in mind modern culture promotes an unrealistic ideal of independence and self-sufficiency. This may be hindering our ability to be close. The truth is we all want closeness and connection.  I shared this article last year and in case you missed it, you may find it refreshing; closeness, togetherness coziness

    I hope you find time for leisurely walks this season.                         All around us, in the natural world is stimulus for us to understand our own nature, we are made of the same stuff:  Water, Earth (minerals), Fire (heat and combustion, digestion and burning of food for energy) Air (Breath) and Either (space). Appreciation of nature on a walk always lifts ones spirits. More about walking in this blog post walking the most under-rated exercise.

Remember to do your daily routine, even in the hustle of holidays, travel and visitors. Your practice, done consistently and mindfully has a powerful healing effect on all levels; physical, mental, emotional, energetic and a multitude of aspects deeper and more profound. Daily practice  allows us to face our life, to deal with our emotions and quiet the chatter in our minds. Our negative thoughts and suppressed emotions are toxic. By gaining control of the mind we can grow through conscious awareness of emotions the energy they have. True yoga is a well of strength and peace to draw from.  This well is filled through daily practice– asana and meditation.

“The more you sit in the self the more you will feel an energy that you have never experienced before. It comes from behind rather than in front where you experience your mind and emotions.…When you are no longer absorbed in your melodrama, but instead sit comfortably deep inside the seat of awareness, you will feel this energy from deep within.    …. Feelings, loneliness, fear are just things in the universe like cars, grass, stars, Awareness does not fight.  Within the self you will experience strength of your inner Being, even when the heart is weak…”   From the book Untethered Soul – Michael Singer

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

Peace, Christina

_CLASS Schedule December January, all same except....
There will NOT be classes at RGCSL on Monday  Dec 25th (Christmas day)
or Monday January 1st (New Year's day).
 No los Lunas classes on Tuesday Dec 26th. 
Consider joining the Wed. class- Versatile Vitality, 4100 Silver SE
 8:30am - 9:45am.(wonderful group,lovely space & easy parking)
or treat yourself to an individual session to design or 
refine your daily practice. 
 Gift Certificates available now.


Nov/Dec/schedule

Yoga Friends,

There will NOT be classes at RGCSL on Monday  Dec 25th (Christmas day) and on Monday January 1st (new year’s day). I will not be in los Lunas for classes on Tuesday Dec 26th.

During the holiday season, Please consider joining the Wed. classes at Versatile Vitality, 4100 Silver SW,   8:30am – 9:45am. It is a wonderful group, a lovely space and there is easy parking!
Or 
Treat yourself to an individual  session to design or refine your daily practice.
Here are blog posts you might enjoy: just click to read (o;

RECENT POSTS

STRETCHING THE SPINE IS NATURAL MOVEMENT!                                                           THE CUMULATIVE POWER OF YOGA                                                                                    A QUOTE AND 2 ARTICLES I RECOMMEND                                                            MEDITATION, MY JOURNEY…                                                                                                 RE-TRAINING YOUR BODY’S STRESS RESPONSE THROUGH YOGA PRACTICE          DANCE!                                                                                                                         WALKING IS THE MOST UNDERRATED EXERCISE!                                                              100 REASONS TO GET OUT IN NATURE.                                                                          YOUR YOGA, A HOME PRACTICE                                                                                  BRINGING LIGHT INTO OUR WOUNDED PLACES & SVADHYAY

THE CUMULATIVE POWER OF YOGA

Dear Yoga friends,

 

– 4th Wednesday (8:30am)  every month at Versatile Vitality will be Restorative – be guided and supported in Asanas were gravity and your breath do all the “work” (mostly release of tension) and move deeper into relaxation. Gain awareness of the subtitles, the subtle body!

Individual sessions are available to design or refine your daily home-practice

THE CUMULATIVE POWER OF YOGA
Practicing 1 day per week will produce very little benefit beyond the class time.
Practicing 2 days per week will almost maintain your present level of physical, mental and emotional fitness.
Practicing 3 days per week will incrementally advance your level of physical, mental and emotional fitness.
*Practicing 4 days per week will make your body more strong,flexible and your mind better focused. Anti-aging benefits!
Practicing 5 days per week will make you physically and mentally stronger. And much more emotionally balanced. a
Practicing 6 days a week will unfold your very best in you. 
The seventh day… rest!

Peace,

Christina

A quote and 2 articles I recommend

Dear Yoga Friends,

 

   Sharing a favorite Quote, 

“…moment to moment we can switch to the observer, to Purusha. The moment we look in the mirror we start judging. Many of us don’t like the hair, the nose, the face or color we have, but we are not our hair, nose, face or color. We are nobler and higher than that. We are Purusha, we are Shakti. 
 …self acceptance and self love are the first steps towards bliss.” ~ Dr. Vasant Lad
 

2 Articles I highly recommend … 

 This article really helps understand how we ardently pursue strength and suppleness yet avoid stress and injury!
Japanese wisdom-one minute a day  (ignore the title on this, content is good-  “At the heart of this method is the idea that a person should practice doing something for a single minute, every day at the same time” 

Your Yoga, a home practice

Yoga is an art.   As a kid I wanted to play guitar. I went to lessons. I didn’t practice between lessons.  My teacher kept saying “you can’t really learn without practicing at home”.   He told me this every week.  He could tell I wasn’t practicing. I think he got tired of going over the same bits over and over, which was all he could do because I didn’t practice. I didn’t progress much at playing guitar either; I lost interest and quit after less than a year of lessons.

Just as a musician must practice their musical instrument daily, or a dancer practice every day, yoga students who want to make progress will have to find the self-discipline to start a daily practice on their own.

The most important reasons to begin and continue a home practice

  • You get to know your own body , your own strengths and weaknesses.
  • You gain the mental and psychological benefits that are the whole original purpose of yoga, and will not come without daily home practice. You will learn more about yourself than  any books or workshops can ever show you, because you will be taking that inward journey every day.
  • You will have this touchstone, this place of anchoring every day, A true blessing in this ever-changing, fast paced and imperfect, sometimes crazy world we live in.

What is a daily “home” or “individual” practice?

Daily – Honestly, 5 to 7 times a week is GREAT!!!

Home – in your home, have a place for doing yoga, a place you like, it can be in any room, outside on nice days… Have a time for yoga; most people who don’t chose a specific time for yoga have trouble doing it 5 to 7 times a week.  I carved out time in the early morning, because too much can happen once my day is started.

Individual – Just you with yourself.  It can be done with or around others, but you are doing your yoga, no chatting, no interruptions, no TV, phone, no distractions!

Practice – is not a competition, not an exhibition, not a performance and not a race! Let it be stress-free. Cultivate a patient mind. Some days you’ll be slow and other days you will feel like being fierce. You will learn to honor where you are at.

 

How do you begin a home practice?  To start, you do what you can remember from class (so yes, do attend classes.) Take your time getting into and out of postures, and hold postures longer, to make discoveries and build strength.

  • Take some time, five minutes is good, to become aware of and deepen your breath.
  • Begin moving easily and repeat 3 to 10 sun salutations, to warm up the body.
  • Do standing poses – warriors, triangles, tree or others; switching it up is good.
  • Do child’s pose when you need a rest.
  • Do a few seated postures and one or two laying down.
  • Include one inversion.  Legs up a wall counts.
  • Always do savasana for a minimum of 8 minutes.

It is a great idea to get an individual session to design and refine your daily practice, after a few weeks, then at least once a year.

BUT...   “I don’t have time for it every day.” By making time for a daily practice the rest of your day will be more productive.  The rest of your day will be less stressful. These blogs discus how yoga does this in more detail;   yoga for beating stress      yoga as tool against fatigue

“I don’t care if I make progress I’m just doing yoga for maintenance.”  There is no such thing as maintaining, unless you are making progress.   Unless you are strengthening muscles in your body, and moving in your full range of motion 4-6 times a week.  Exercise is stimulus.  The changes to body tissue happens in the 24 to 48 hours afterwards.  You become weaker and more rigid after 48 hours.  This is even truer as you get older.  After the 48 hours… if there is no stimulus again your hard work begins to get undone.  Period, that’s it. (After months and years of daily yoga you maintain better flexibility if you do miss some days or weeks, your base-line has gotten higher).

“I do enough other exercise.” Great! But, by doing a home practice of yoga, you’re less likely to get injured doing other exercises and be able to do them longer as you age.

“I’m active  in my daily work (or life).”  Most often, in our daily routine, we do many repetitive movements, with the focus on what we are doing rather than the body and mind doing it.  We use limited amount of the many muscles, less range of motion and less systematic use of many muscles.  If your work is hard physical labor, less and/or “restorative” yoga might be what you need to practice at home.

August @ Happy Mountain Yoga

 

 Happy August, Yoga Friends! 

It has been great to have the rains and cooler days here so far this month. 

Nature is good medicine!    Watch & share this for funhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf5TgVRGND4

All classes on regular schedule for August plus adding a restorative class the on 16th, 5:30pm at The Garden Gate.
The Restorative Yoga class at Studio Blue was so well attended and such a sweet group. I will do it again soon!  
FYI – Individual sessions will be $75 beginning in 2017. So take advantage of low rate for the next 4 months to get support in designing your home practice! 
For more fun, showing you a bit of  “fence art”, which I created in my hood.  I am not fond of chain link. (construction and war zones) So, I had fun cutting and weaving in old fabric and rags. It is a much warmer, welcoming sight than plain chain-link, don’t you think?
fence art 1
(Photo by Lloyd  of Lloyd Thrap Photography )

Namaste, Christina

What is Yoga, Really?

What Yoga Is,  and Is Not.

Know What you are getting into.  

YOGA IS:

    • Moving Meditation.
    • Focused Concentration and keen awareness of mind and body.
    • Control of the breath, Movement synchronized to the breath: Awareness  with the breath.
    • Vinyasa– a flow through a series of movements – One breath to one movement. An example is sun salutations. Vinyasa warms the body from inside and increases meditative focus, and awareness of the breath.
    • Asana– (“poses” and also the movement into, with-in and out of them) which lead to doing more difficult Asanas, creating greater freedom of mind and body.
    • A process. Each movement towards, with-in and transition out of an Asana is a journey towards mind-body integration, flexibility and strength with-in that asana, the unique way you find it within your own body.
    • Everyone’s individual body structure means there is great variety in how a person gets into, and looks in any pose.
    • Yoga is complex. This is why it is a process! Often a slow process, even with diligent daily practice.
    • Always a whole being (body-mind-emotions) experience.  Expect to change more than your body!
    • Physical asana is only one of the eight limbs of yoga Philosophy.
    • The goal of yoga is no less than Enlightenment -knowledge/understanding/insight which brings freedom. (Though better health or physical appearance are often the goal in the west)
    • The rewards are mastery over the mind and a strong, flexible, yet supple, body.
    • One theory of how physical Yoga was originally created is so that a person could remain in seated, still in meditation without being distracted by discomfort in the body.
    • Yoga has been attributed as great tools for religion, or spiritual growth, no matter what faith or philosophy a person believes. The practice of yoga as lifestyle is expanded understanding, compassion, inner peace and peaceful conduct, until eventually all of life becomes a moving meditation.
    • It is a philosophy. The branch of Yoga, Devotion, can be devotion in the religious sense, but this is a personal choice.

 

YOGA IS NOT:

  • Classes, (Just like any art form, you take classes but you practice on your own.)
  • A religion
  • Simple
  • Being a contortionists
  • A physical exercise class
  • A sport
  • A quick fix to anything
  • Something you master completely on any given day. (there is no finish line).

Know What you are getting into.   Find the class(es) and teacher(s) right for you.

Namaste,  Christina