The power of forward folding

The power of forward folding

Ahh, the power of a forward fold becomes transparent when one has practiced this simple asana for many a time.  Each time, and with each practice, simply letting your head reach for your knees has a profound effect on your mental and physical tension in your whole body.  Did you know some of the benefits of uttanasana or intense forward stretch? Reduces depression if practiced regularly cures insomnia and relieves fatigue increases blood flow to the brain, soothing the brain cells and sympathetic nervous system regulates blood pressure relieves migraines and stress-related headaches tones the abdominal organs relieves stomachaches by neutralizing acidity strengthens the stretches the hamstring muscle increases the flexibility of the hip joint strengthens the knee joint and it’s surrounding tissue and muscles This power asana is in a series called the sun salutes, and because of it’s effectiveness we practice uttanasana many times during the sun salutes.  As a teacher, one thing I encourage my students to do is a forward fold against the wall.  Here the upper back can rest against the wall, with the head supported by blocks.  Holding an asana or posture for 1-3 minutes increases the power, especially because it is so soothing.  Go ahead, and try it, and see what a forward fold can do for you!! See you on the mat, Paula...
Desires of the Heart

Desires of the Heart

If we stop and listen, desires of the heart are stamped upon our consciousnesses to listen.  When we listen to the guidance of the heart, we go towards what our true dharma, or path really is.  I believe this creates a life of health, happiness and true contentment and fulfillment.  The problems arise when we get “caught up” in our thoughts.  One such dream of mine was to have a yoga center.  This was a dream, and you can bet my logical brain “threw” many reasons NOT to do this.   I knew better than to “give into” these thoughts that arose, but I have to say, sometimes it was very difficult.  Each year of a growing new business brought a special concern or unwise thought, that came up so strong, I wanted to run away from it.  But I didn’t.  I focused on a larger goal, (helping many people) and kept moving forward. We all get stuck in our thoughts from time to time. The key is not to let it continue any longer than necessary. Focus on the bigger goal.  Lets say, your goal is to practice yoga.  You’ve heard that it’s good fix for that nagging back pain that has been with you on and off for many years. So, you start coming.  Within a couple of weeks, you’re really sore, tired, and sometimes, the thoughts even take you out of coming to practice.  Before long, your thoughts create easy ways for you to skip your yoga practice.  Maybe they go like this…… This yoga is really for “young” people. I couldn’t possibly do “hot yoga”!! If...
Think? and shall become…

Think? and shall become…

The power behind our thoughts has a great deal to do with our present day health.  We have the capacity to change negative thoughts or behaviors with the practice of yoga, and setting an intention at the beginning.  This “intention” becomes a vehicle that makes positive changes even when you leave the studio.  It’s kind of like setting a location on your phone, and the phone tells you where to go. An intention is bringing your awareness to a quality or virtue you wish to cultivate for your practice, both on and off your mat.  Lets say you start your practice with patience as an intention.   In your yoga practice your practicing “being patient”, and holding the pose, while the teacher helps someone else.  You practice patience while your in that deep hip opening, and realize it took many years to be this tight, and it’s going to take some time to unwind that tension.  Later, after yoga, the virtue of being patient with yourself  is a reminder to be patient to others.  You become patient with your toddler as they try to tie their shoelaces, even though you are running late.  The universe will “reward” you for setting an intention, and then keeping it.  Later on you realize that by slowing down, letting your toddler acquire a new skill, you hit every green light on your way to work, thus keeping yourself on time.  Read 18 ways what successful people believe.  They have learned this concept, Likewise, setting an intention, and then not keeping it does the opposite.  Lets say you set an intention to come to yoga...
Ollie

Ollie

Do you know that things, events come to you in perfect order, right as they should, for either us to learn, use, and grow from?  I believe this to be true.  That God loves us so much that he orchestrates people, things, events in our lives, so that we grow closer to him.  It is no mistake when you walk through the doors at Anahata Yoga Center.  I know something directed you here, quite possibly in my class.  I know you might have something to teach me, and I might have something to teach you.  In other words, our meeting is no coincidence. That brings me to this story.  Meet Ollie.  Last Friday, my husband and I went to the pound and picked out a 3 year old male Chihuahua mix.  Nothing much is known about Ollie.  He was a stray (un-neutered) that had been picked up by the dog catcher.  At the pound, Ollie put on his best face.  “Please, please, take me home.  I am good, I just need a 2nd chance”.  How could we say no?  Well, the story of Ollie’s life began to unfold at our house.  It seemed liked Ollie had been trained, somewhat.  He walked into his crate, knew how to roll over, and perform some simple commands.  However, he was a basket case.  He cried, growled, and even bit us.  We did not want a anxious, nervous dog that bites.  However, we knew the implications of returning him to the pound.  I called our vet, and he agreed to look him over, and give us his personal recommendation if Ollie could be...
Balanced Effort

Balanced Effort

Do you know that feeling after you’ve completed an accomplishment?  That is what is said about yoga;  “Yoga practice brings on a feeling of well being that lasts”. (Yoga Sutra’s chapter 2, vs. 46.)  Yoga is done with a balanced effort of work and relaxation.  So the sutras’ don’t come out and say, Yoga will heal you of everything you have…..but people have used yoga to heal themselves of cancer, and all sorts of ailments.  How can we explain this?  Well, I believe that before any disease makes it’s self known in the body, it has been there lifetimes.  When the circumstances in the body are right, through internal and external stimuli, the body “turns” on that disease.  Therefore, how can we remain healthy well into our old age?   With the practice of yoga, of course! I will say that a daily yoga practice is an uphill climb on a mountain to get started.  However, when you get established in your routine, it becomes easy to maintain, quite like brushing your teeth.  It becomes something you do.  In the beginning, you practice on faith and zeal.  Eventually, you might notice different things, such as not getting the latest cold/flu/virus  that everyone is sharing.  You notice you have more energy, because you sleep better at night.  Sex is better.  Eating is better, as you also gravitate towards more nutrient dense foods.   This feeling is super subtle.  The kind of subtle where you wake up, and get lots done, or wake up and have a “meh” day.  Eventually, with daily yoga practice, you have more of those days where you get...

Taking flight

Is there more going on in hammocks class than I previously thought?  YES!  Going upside down in the hammocks gives us a strong sense of where we are in space, known as vestibular input, which is a fancy way of saying we need to experience movement in different directions and orientations to develop and keep proper balance. Everyone knows that your balance is one of the first things to go as you age.  The vestibular sense is one of the first to develop in a growing fetus and is stimulated by the movement of a carrying mother’s body. By only 5 months in utero, this system is well developed and provides a great deal of sensory information to a growing fetal brain. This system is very important to a child’s early development. Its role is to relay information to the brain as to where a person is in space, as related to gravity; whether they are moving or still, if they are moving how quickly, and in what direction. The vestibular system also helps to develop and maintain normal muscle tone. Muscle tone is the ability of a muscle to sustain a contraction. Without a proper functioning vestibular system, it may be challenging for a person to hold their body in one position. Additionally, through proprioceptive input you can develop better body and spatial awareness. This means less broken lamps, bumps, and bruises from wild, clumsy collisions! Focus on proprioception also helps regulate the nervous system. A couple of ways to tell if your systems are up to pare is this…..Can you walk with eyes shut, and walk a...
Facebook IconTwitter IconContact us