Bodhi Yoga

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

These Are A Few of My Favorite (Yoga) Things!

      As an admitted yoga freak and  trained dancer, I came into my yoga teacher training wondering how much more there was to learn. As it turns out, knowing various asanas, a few breathing exercises, and safe alignment from years of dance offered me a great start, but there was still much knowledge to be had!

   Before beginning my teacher training, I  already knew how much I loved yoga, but I had no idea  of the vast amount of material I'd have the opportunity to learn.
Today, I'll be sharing some of my favorite parts of yoga teacher training. Get ready to learn a few new Sanskrit words.

   Pranayama has been one of my favorite parts of yoga teacher training.  Also known as breathwork, pranayama consists of   breathing exercises that help our mental states in various ways. Whether you need energy, clarity, focus, or relaxation, there's a breathing exercise for you! Breathing supports and deepens  our asana and meditation practices, but these exercises aren't only for the yoga mat. Pranayama exercises may be performed anytime, anyplace.

     Learning more about the chakras has been another interesting piece of my program. I've long held an interest in chakras, and even have a book on the subject,"Wheels of Life". I was pleasantly surprised to discover my yoga teacher training included yoga practices for each chakra, as well as an entire class model to positively effect all seven chakras. For more information on this subject  click here to visit my brief introductory on chakras.

   Another fun and interesting part of my yoga teacher training has been learning about Ayurveda. Sanskrit for "The science of life", Ayurveda is ancient Indian  health system that emphasizes the mind-body connection through various dietary and life practices that help to create greater balance and self-awareness.

    As you can see, yoga consists of much more than the physical practices with which many of us are familiar. I'm pleased my yoga teacher training is so in depth.

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Many Faces of Yoga.......

   Be it spinning, cardio-kickboxing, or running, we all know that person who enjoys high-impact somewhat punitive exercise. Aside from my dance training I've always favored more gentle exercise that went a little deeper than simply burning calories. I  Something I appreciate about yoga is the fact that the benefits  are physical and beyond! Yoga classes come in a variety of styles and levels of physical intensity ; there truly is something for everyone! Here are a few styles that may be practiced seperately or combined: 

Asana Practice: Asanas are the actual yoga postures. Asana practice opens the body and mind; it may be molded to meet a specific goal such as core strengthening, hip opening, etc. Often asana practice involves various types of postures.  

Pranayama:  This practice is also referred to as  breathwork. Breathwork increases lung capacity, and help with mental states.

Meditation: meditation practice helps us to attain greater focus, clarity, and often feelings of relaxation. A monk I knew once described meditation practice as, " a bath for the mind."

Vinyasa:  In Vinyasa classes the asanas  flow one into the next with a bit more speed. Vinyasa class  strengthens, enlivens, and energizes the body while increasing coordination and  mental acuity.

Restorative: Restorative yoga nutures body and mind. Poses are supported and don't require much physical effort. Restorative yoga is ideal for students experiencing  issues of either a physical  or mental nature.

   Which class sounds most appealing to you?

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Asana Practice: Standing in Balance

  Standing and balancing asanas often follow opening seated asanas and transitional kneeling positions.

  Standing asanas increase strength, stamina, and balance of overall body.  Requiring us to engage our core muscles and utilize proper body alignment, these asanas improve posture and focus. 

Examples of Standing Asanas are, mountain pose, tree pose, eagle pose, warrior poses, crescent lunge, and chair pose.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Take a Seat: Seated (and kneeling) Asanas!

   In most yoga classes the opening asanas will be of the seated variety followed by kneeling postures which often act as transitional asanas linking us to our vinyasa and standing asanas.  Seated  and kneeling yoga poses tend to be grounding, calming, and helpful to the root  chakra. Seated poses in yoga lengthen and strengthen the spine, open the hips, knees, and ankles. To protect the knees in seated asanas a blanket should be used to elevate the hips.

   Examples of seated and kneeling yoga postures include: easy pose, cobbler pose, child pose, revolved child pose (thread the needle), seated twist, head to knee, full boat pose, lotus pose,  monkey pose, reclined bound angle pose, hero pose, all fours,cat pose, cow pose, pigeon pose, stacked fire log, wind-relieving pose, and cow face pose.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Wearing your Crown: Chakra Seven

   Our seventh chakra or energy center is the crown chakra. The crown chakra, located at the crown of the head, is concerned with our connection to the divine.

    The crown chakra is represented by the colors violet and white, the element of thought, the sense enlightenment, and the pituitary gland. Gems that can be used in helping to balance our seventh chakra are diamond and amethyst. Aromatherapeutic oils for this chakra include frankincense.

  Activites to balance the crown chakra include scalp massage, headstands,fasting, religious inquiry, retreats, and seated breath practice. Yoga for the crown chakra is meditation.

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Chakra Six: The Third Eye

   Our sixth chakra or energy center is the third eye chakra. The third eye chakra governs intuition and insight. It's located in the brow area, and is associated with the element of light,sense of intuition (sometimes called "the sixth sense"), and the pineal gland.

   The third eye chakra is represented by the color indigo.  Gems that can be used in helping to balance our sixth chakra are amethyst and purple flourite.  Aromatherapeutic oils for the third eye chakra include rosemary and frankincense.

  Activites to balance the third eye chakra include memory games and dream journaling. Yoga for this chakra is eye movement meditation.

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Chakra Five: The Throat Chakra

Our fifth chakra or energy center is the throat chakra. When throat chakra is balanced we speak and communicate honestly and from a place of love.  The throat chakra is associated with the element of soud,  sense of  hearing, and the thyroid, throat, jaw, neck, and lower ears.

   The throat chakra is represented by shades of blue. Gems that can be used in helping to balance our fifth chakra are turquoise and aquamarine.  Aromatherapeutic oils for the throat  chakra include frankincense.

  Activites to balance the throat chakra include silence, reading aloud, being read to, singing, and honest,respectful communication.

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