yoga

Clearing Our Heads

I swear my cats choose exactly the part of the floor/carpet/house that needs cleaning most to have their pukitosis episodes.  Same applies to my subconscious when my rational mind goes completely unfocused and I shake the open container of almond milk in the messiest corner of the kitchen.

That’s my view on the optimistic days.  When the glass is not only half empty but full of something I didn’t want anyway, the cats find the carpet I just cleaned and I spill sticky stuff all over the new shirt.

On the optimistic days, if I’ve got a clear head, I can move on to lesson learned and make time to clean for improvement.  On pessimistic days, there’s the extra step of temper fit, a whole lot of bad language while cleaning and, eventually, lesson learned, when my head clears.

With a stiff neck and hunched shoulders, it’s hard to get a deep breath to feed the brain or enjoy the benefits of adequate circulation and nervous system communication.  The head is under siege.  Last month’s temporarily free video gave you a chance to loosen up your shoulders and re-align.  This month’s video – free through February – takes it to the next level.  Enjoy it in entirety or in bits and pieces.  If you miss the free version, it will still be available for sale.

And may all your messes be on the floor that’s easy to clean.

Shouldering burdens

Many of us are carrying extra burdens into the new year, burdens we may never have imagined having to take up.

Since our thoughts, emotions and bodies are interwoven intimately, we’re likely to be feeling those burdens in various places throughout our bodies.  If we can approach the physical level to lighten the burden, we can have an impact on the more subtle levels of the mind and psyche, as well.

One of the common places to feel the stress of extra responsibilities, cares, and worries is in the shoulders.  Physically, that means connections to the neck and arms, as well.

The 20-minute video above addresses tension in the shoulders.  It’s designed for anyone who is not currently dealing with an injury.  You can pick and choose from anywhere in the video if a 20-minute self-care segment isn’t within your reach right now.  The video will be available free throughout January; then it goes back to regular $5 availability on the website.

Relaxation to integrate

We’re not all that good at stopping to integrate life experiences.

Even when it’s not holiday season, we tend toward the future. What’s next?

Our relaxation strategies are usually escapism. Involvement in fantasy. Or someone else’s life. Or sensual indulgence.

Or hamster wheel-ism. Endlessly caught in thought loops, as if enough time there will lead us to . . . what? Comfort? Understanding? A way to be what we were before?

The more we deal with changes, the more we need time to integrate. And you’d be hard pressed to convince anyone that this year hasn’t been one for change.

A simple 15 minutes of intentional relaxation can help the nervous system move toward restoration and healing. Allowing ourselves to just be can foster integration at unconscious levels. Letting go of doing becomes a delicious indulgence.

The conscious relaxation video (savasana in yoga) is available for viewing through December at no charge. After that, it’s available on the website.

Enjoy your holiday season!

Yoga Thoughts

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Yama is yoga’s Social ethics, how we practice to get along with each other.

Michael Stone‘s way of looking at these . . .

Ahimsa: recognizing that I am not separate from all that is.  Non-violence

Satya: listening, acting and speaking from the heart in each spontaneous circumstance.  Truthfulness

Asteya: being satisfied with what I have; not taking what is not freely given.  Non-stealing

Brahmacharya: encountering all creatures with respect and dignity; wise use of sexual energy.  Continence

Aparigraha: using all the ingredients of my life without clinging.  Non-possessiveness

How is your asana practice reflecting your yama?  How is your yama out in the world reflecting your yoga?

Yoga Thoughts

How much fun is this?

from 1967’s Easy Come Easy Go

Thanks to Bobbie Long for pointing me to it

Yoga Thoughts

I know I’ve been lax about posting regularly on Mondays.

We can pretend it’s so that you can review old posts with your expanded experience.

Really, it’s partly because I’ve been thinking about things that are hard to illustrate and, you might have noticed, I like to include pictures.

150727 Awareness

And, if you’ll admit it, you like to have pictures, too.

How often do your questions boil down to, “Am I doing anything that looks like what this asana is ‘supposed’ to look like?”

What if I told you that the asanas are all just a smoke screen – kind of like photo shop in a fashion magazine?

The real magic is about your awareness.

Yoga Thoughts

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I know, we all want to get to those exotic and exciting poses.

But the strength of yoga is alignment.

Without alignment, we’re just magnifying our weaknesses.

Yoga Thoughts

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“Asanas (postures) are done by the body but are not totally for the body.

Asanas are part of yoga and yoga is primarily for the consciousness.

Yoga is for the mind.

It should be done by the body for the mind.”

(Prashant Iyengar)

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