Yoga Body Workshops

“Yoga Body Workshops”

Spotlighting various parts of the body for an effective learning experience and change in the body.

Returning Soon

Your guide will offer a variety of body specific classes, allowing you to dive deep and explore yourSelf.  Move through the body, bringing in strength and openness as we focus on specific areas.  These playful, yet rewarding classes will also include; centering, pranayama, alignment and body awareness, as well as a dash of philosophy, and just the right amount of relaxation, to leave you feeling calm yet rejuvenated. Drop in for $15 or use your discount pass.

“Shoulders & Heart Openers”  – July 19th 

Due to ouYoga Body Focus Classesr hectic, stress-driven lives, we tend to close up our hearts, both on a physical and emotional level.  In this class we will work with the strength and flexibility of our shoulders, and open up our hearts through various postures, using props, our  own bodies,  and wisdom with incentive.

 

 

 

 

“Hamstrings & Forward Folds”  – July 26th

Yoga for Hamstrings and Hips

Allow yourself to let go and surrender in this class.  We will create some sweet space in our spines and work with lengthening our tight hamstrings. Plenty of edges will be met, in which you’ll liste to the whispers of the body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Spinal Twists & Rotations”  – August 9th

Yoga for the Spine

Connecting breath and movement, we will spend this class coming in and out of postures, bringing in spinal twists to ease discomfort in the back, help improve digestion, and provide natural energy within our subtle and physical bodies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Laterals & The Side Body”  – August 16th, 2018

While focusing on the side body, we will lengthen and strengthen the muscles between the ribs and the pelvis, while opening our lungs to improve breathing capacity. Our side body gets a bit ignored throughout our life, lets befriend it.

 

 

Balance & The Breath”  – August 23, 2018

Bringing in breath and focus, we will work with balance in various postures to cultivate the stillness that sits within us. We’ll anchor with a mini breath circle and a very deep savasana.

 

 

 

 

 

“Thighs & Hip Openers”  August 30th

By openiYoga for Hips and Thighsng our hips and addressing the thighs – we allow ourselves to feel lighter and more open.  They can help us get in and out of other postures that we may be struggling with as well. A popular focus!

 

 

 

“Core & Lower Back”  – September 6th

By using Yoga for the Core Bellyour Bandhas, we are incorporating our core muscles throughout every Yoga class.  In this class, our primary focus will be on the Bandhas.  Our secondary focus will be using our breath of course, to hold specific core strengthening postures, then work with lengthening and opening the abdominal and lower back muscles.

 

 

 

“Deep Release” Yoga – September 13th

This class wiYang yin Yogall be a surprise combination of what we have worked with thus far!  Long, deep holds in seated and reclined postures. Very effective in promoting openness and flexibility and listening to the whispers of

Mother Nature Hike and Meditation

Hiking

Mother Nature Hike and Meditation

Thursday, June 29, 2017
5:15 PM to 7:15ish PM
Onanda Park
4965 West Lake Road, Canandaigua, NY

We will meet in the “upper Parking Lot” – its the lot NOT at the lake. I will have a black van with Meetup Sign on Window!
Price: $5.00 /per person
Refund policy

We will walk the beauty of Onanda Park along the West side of Canandaigua Lake.

The group shall first form a circle sharing and discussing some special ways to walk our our hike using general and easy to use techniques found in Yoga/Meditation

The end of our journey we will anchor with a relaxation technique that will assist on our manifesting of nature’s magic.

This park is walk-able by all – we will use a slow – moderate pace

Good shoes are nice to have! Bring any water, snacks and even a journal and pen for a journaling exercise (optional)

No electronics will be allowed on our nature hike. We will take pictures with our soul and imprint them there.

DATE: June 29th, 5:15pm to 7:30ish

COST: $5 or any donation you are comfortable with. A smile is perfect!

REGISTER: RSVP here on this board. We also will have folks registering through other means and total Limit is to 20 beings.

(RSVP only if you are coming for sure as we will wait for everyone to arrive before we start. Cut off is June 28th at Noon.)

Events at GBY

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What is Raja Yoga?

Meditation. Period. Raja Yoga is the yogic path through meditation. It doesn’t involve chatturunga, trikonasana nor savasana.

In the past month I have had 6 new students arrive indicating their experience in yoga was with Raja Yoga and they prefer “that style”. Great! Since one class 4 of them arrived together as friends often do, I offered a 40 minute Meditation at the end, knowing the regulars would love it (and they did) and the new students would enjoy it as well.

However, after class they were clear with me that they enjoyed the space, the first part of the class  but wouldn’t be returning.  I simply smiled and thanked them for sharing space with me this day. Piped up was one of the regular students who asked “But why?”.  One girl said “it wasn’t cardio enough” and another  gal elaborated a little bit deeper. She explained the Raja yoga she practices at a particular studio (which I didn’t catch the name – perhaps I didn’t want to know) is much different filled with vinyasa flows and very little stillness. This, is Hatha Yoga. Any (except Kundalini) yoga that involves movement with the body is all Hatha Yoga (yes…vinyasa style, Ashtanga, Sivananda, Iyengar and so forth).

More accelerated yogic paths are: Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga (this doesn’t mean ‘free yoga’), Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga. As I initially mentioned, not one of these involve chatturunga, trikonansana or savasana.  The above 4 paths of yoga are thousands of years old (we feel about 4500) and Hatha as we know it is about 115 years old. (Now, I won’t get into history and how did everything go backwards on us, but do feel free to attend our philosophy/history sessions this winter! ). I have to admit, my teacher trainees are the most spoiled with wisdom and practice. And it’s with  this, they will reach yoga. Oh yes, yoga isn’t a thing we do, it’s samadhi. Yoga is samadhi. The PRACTICE of YOGA to get their is generally one of the 4 paths above. But we could wake up one day and just be there  – or would that be Jnana yoga? Yes, the yoga of wisdom can just appear – truth.

What is happening in the yogic community? I don’t normally write such posts as you all know, but this does concern me. In many ways – or perhaps all ways – Raja yoga is opposite of what these girls were describing.

Feel free to post your comments, I would enjoy the dialogue  on this!

Can You Laugh Yourself to Wellness?

Yoga Teacher Training Rochester NY and Finger Lakes

The Serious Benefits of Laughter Yoga

Sandy is a Certified LaughaYoga Practitoner and will be offering this in some of her classes.

 Below writtne by

Laughter yoga is a new twist on an ancient practice. Not only does it increase happiness, but it also strengthens the immune system, reduces pain and lowers stress. (Not intended for transcendence, but can clear a path in that direction) The Serious Benefits of Laughter Yoga More contagious than a cough or sneeze, laughter relaxes the whole body. It triggers the release of endorphins, promoting an overall sense of well-being. When combined with yogic breathing, laughter truly becomes the best medicine, providing extensive health benefits for people of all body types.

What is Laughter Yoga?

In the mid-1990s, the Indian physician Madan Kataria developed laughter yoga based on the concept that voluntary laughter could provide the same health benefits as spontaneous laughter. Soon after, laughter yoga spread worldwide, sparking the creation of Laughter Yoga Clubs where people would gather to practice. Instead of using humor, laughter is initiated through creative exercise. Practitioners do not have to master any of the traditional yoga postures. They simply need to laugh. As of 2011, more than 65 countries were home to over 8,000 laughter clubs. How Do You Practice Laughter Yoga? Classes typically start with some socializing and talk about laughter. Next, the group will warm up with some stretching and breathing exercises. Then the laughter games start. Sessions end with silent meditation. During laughter yoga, laughs should come from the diaphragm. Those full belly laughs provide the most benefits. In general, laughter yoga has these four basic steps:

  1. Clapping and chanting
  2. Laughter yoga breathing
  3. Childlike playfulness
  4. Laughter yoga exercises

Each step has specific elements. For example, during childlike playfulness, practitioners lift their arms in the air, which helps lift their mood. It can also trigger happy memories or thoughts.

Benefits of Laughter Yoga

Laughing for a sustained period of time is key to reaping the health benefits of laughter yoga. Classes routinely help students laugh steadily for 15 to 20 minutes. The results? Increased oxygen intake and blood flow, improved blood vessel function, and lower blood pressure. This helps protect your heart, boosts energy, dissolves stress and allows you to gain focus. Gendry, the founder of Laughter Online University, describes the value of laughter yoga as a complement to low-impact cardiovascular exercise for seniors. It requires no special equipment or environment, and it’s universally available. Plus, it’s fun and can easily be practiced at home. As Gendry puts it, “In a sedentary age of sharply rising health care costs and mental health challenges, laughter yoga’s benefits and accessibility ought to gain more public attention.”

Laughter Yoga for Caregivers and Seniors

Laughter yoga can promote health and wellness for caregivers and seniors alike.

  • Body: It makes you feel relaxed and energized; stress and pain melt away.
  • Mind: Your mind becomes sharper and clearer.
  • Emotions: You feel more grounded.
  • Social: You feel more connected to the people around you.
  • Spiritual: It boosts self-esteem, making you feel more at peace and trusting.

Unfortunately, caregivers often neglect their own health in the midst of their caregiving duties. But taking time to laugh, socialize and just breathe can improve their performance on the job. If the senior enjoys laughter yoga too, it’s something they can talk about–and even laugh about–when they’re back together. Have you tried laughter yoga? Please share your thoughts on the experience.

Embracing Pain

Grounded By yoga embracing pain

Suffering Is Optional

Be curious about your pain and you’ll find that though it may not be optional, the pain of your reaction is.

 

Aging, sickness, and moments of pain are intrinsic to the life of all of our bodies. Bodily pain comes in many guises—some of it is chronic, some temporary, some unavoidable. Our first response is to resist it. We have numerous strategies to ward pain off, to avoid it, or to camouflage it with distraction. Aversion, terror, and agitation interweave themselves with the experiences in our bodies and we are easily lost in dread and despair. Our bodies may even be seen as enemies, sabotaging our well-being and happiness. When we are enmeshed in this knot of fear and resistance, there is little space for healing or compassionate attention to occur.

And yet we can learn to touch discomfort and pain with an attention that is loving, accepting, and spacious. We can learn to befriend our bodies, even in the moments when they are most distressed and uncomfortable. We can discover that it is possible to release aversion and fear. With caring and curious attention, we can see that there is a difference between the sensations occurring in our bodies and the thoughts and emotions that react to those sensations. Instead of running from pain, we can bring a curious and caring attention into the heart of pain. In doing so, we discover that our well-being and inner balance are no longer sabotaged. Surrendering our resistance, we find that pain is no longer intimidating or unbearable.

No one would suggest that learning to work skillfully with pain is an easy task, however, or that meditation is a way to fix pain or make it go away. Sometimes we are overwhelmed and we can learn to accept this too. In moments when the intensity of pain seems unbearable it is fine to take our attention away from it and connect with a simpler focus of attention such as breathing or listening for a time. When our hearts and minds have calmed and feel more spacious, it is the right moment to return our attention to the areas of pain in the body.

There are also times when it is often possible to dissolve the layers of tension and fear that gather around pain and to embrace it with greater spaciousness and ease. We may even find a deep inner balance and serenity in the midst of pain. These are moments of great possibility and strength. Working with pain, learning to accept and embrace it, is a moment-to-moment practice in which we release helplessness, despair, and fear. This is in itself healing and teaches us the way to find peace and freedom within the changing events of our bodies.

Storytelling

When pain or distress arises in our bodies, our conditioned reaction is to pin it down and solidify it with concepts. We say “my knee,” “my back,” “my illness,” and the floodgates of apprehension are opened. We predict a dire future for ourselves, fear the intensification of the pain, and at times dissolve into helplessness and despair. Our concepts serve both to make the pain more rigid and to undermine our capacity to respond to it skillfully. We are caught in the tension of wanting to divorce ourselves from a distressed body while the intensity of pain keeps drawing us back into our body.

Meditation offers a very different way of responding to pain in our bodies. Instead of employing strategies to avoid it, we learn to investigate what is actually being experienced within our bodies calmly and curiously. We can bring a compassionate, accepting attention directly to the core of pain. This is the first step towards healing and releasing the agitation and dread that often intensify pain.

Turning our attention directly toward the distress or pain, we discover that the pain we had previously perceived as a solid mass of discomfort is in truth very different. Sensations are changing from moment to moment. And there are different textures within those sensations—tightness, heat, pressure, burning, stinging, aching… As we ask, “What is this?” the label “pain” becomes increasingly meaningless.

Within all pain and distress we discover there are two levels of experience. One is the simple actuality of the sensation, feeling, or pain, and the other is our story of fear that surrounds it. Letting go of the story, we are increasingly able to connect with the simple truth of the pain. We discover that it may be possible to find calm and peace even in the midst of distress.

Fear Factor

Pain in our body, particularly chronic and acute pain, has an inevitable emotional impact that can be equally debilitating. Blame, fear, self-condemnation, despair, anxiety, and terror can arise in the wake of physical illness and root themselves in our bodies, further hindering our capacity to heal and find ease. Our emotional reactions of fear and resistance often lodge themselves in our bodies alongside the pain, to the point where they are almost indistinguishable. Learning to notice the distinction between pain and our reaction to it, we begin to see that although the pain in our bodies may not be optional, some of the pain of our reactions is optional.

The natural desire to avoid pain is translated in our minds and hearts into turbulence and anxiety, and our sense of inner balance is swept away in the avalanche of those feelings. Even when we are fortunate in that our body recovers, without mindfulness the emotions associated with illness or pain linger much longer in our bodies and minds. We may begin to live in a fearful way, treating every unpleasant sensation as a messenger of doom, assuming it signals a return of the pain or illness. The damage we do to ourselves in ignoring the impact of our emotional reactions compounds our tendency to feel anxious and afraid.

There is a great art in learning to be present with pain, just as it is, in the moment when it arises. But with mindfulness, we can learn to make peace with pain. We can learn to be present one moment at a time and so liberate ourselves from the dread of what the next moment may bring. We can learn the kindness of acceptance rather than the harshness  of denial.

Extracted from Heart of Wisdom, Mind of Calm by Christina Feldman.

Grounded By Yoga offers Therapeutic Yoga on a one on one, small private group or public class basis.

Size Can Matter in Yoga

Grounded By Yoga for Curvy students

Yoga Specifically Designed for the Larger Body Student

Most of the components of Yoga can of course be practiced uniformly by students regardless of size and age. However many of the asanas (postures) and pranayama (breath work) need to be modified. It is important to find a qualified teacher. If you have departed from a yoga class and experienced nausea, vertigo, heart palpitations, or exhaustion, seek a teacher with proper training – as this should not occur.

Just a few of the physical concerns are as follows:

• Joints are more stressed in overweight students and weight bearing postures should be altered accordingly.
• The approach to the squeeze and soak (BKS Iyengar) of the organs
• Twists, Forward Folds, Laterals, Standing Postures /Strength postures and Inversions are performed but in a unique way.
Unfortunately, round bodied students attend classes that are not instructed properly and their chance of a regular practice becomes non-existent. They don’t keep a regular practice because they weren’t comfortable, they felt pain, became nauseous or perhaps they felt the postures were cumbersome for their body. With regular weekly practices, our brain’s impressions begin to transform, and in turn we make better decisions and choices; hence weight loss of that is a goal.
With the emergence of the internet, it’s sad to say some teachers use this as a source in their quest to learn to teach different demographics. This is a form of “spiritual bypass”. Any teacher, in my opinion, that prefers to be a student of a computer over a student of a trained mentor, guru or institute,
should not teach. The best information comes from human energy not a computer. Due your due diligence in choosing a facility to practice yoga: read bios, set up a consult, ask questions, request referrals to speak to.

 

At present, Friday evenings at 5pm in East Bloomfield is our class time for folks who feel they will benefit from a specially sequenced class with specific pranayama exercises and a overtone of mindfulness philosophy.
Sandy Hicks is a trained specialist though IAYT with 140 specific hours in Yoga for the Larger Body. Next session/series will begin July 10th 8-9pm. 10 consecutive classes for $95. Email her direct email at groundedbywellness@gmail.com and she can advise if there is space. This class is limited to 12 to better assist each and everyone exactly where they are.

30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself. #4 Is Absolutely Vital.

Do for yourself!

A share from: Marc and Angel are the authors of 1000 Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently. Here’s their amazing list of 30 things to start doing for yourself. If you enjoy this, be sure to visit their website for more inspirational advice and tips for life.

#1. Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.

 

#2. Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done. It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.

 

#3. Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Road Less Traveled.

 

#4. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.

 

#5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.

 

#6. Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.

 

#7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again. Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving. Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures. One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.

 

#8. Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.

 

#9. Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.

 

#10. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too. Read Stumbling on Happiness.

 

#11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.

 

#12. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – You are ready! Think about it. You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward. So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.

 

#13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. – Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.

 

#14. Start giving new people you meet a chance. – It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made. People and priorities change. As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.

 

#15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.

 

#16. Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.

 

#17. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

 

#18. Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

 

#19. Start helping those around you. – Care about people. Guide them if you know a better way. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth.

 

#20. Start listening to your own inner voice. – If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition. Be true to yourself. Say what you need to say. Do what you know in your heart is right.

 

#21. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. – Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose. When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.

 

#22. Start noticing the beauty of small moments. – Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day. Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner. Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.

 

#23. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect. – Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’ One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are. Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal. No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.

 

#24. Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the luckier you will become. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

 

#25. Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.

 

#26. Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them. Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.

 

#27. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. – Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.

 

#28. Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.

 

#29. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward. No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. Read The How of Happiness.

 

#30. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You didn’t go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didn’t spend a minute in fear. You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.

 

How Often should I Practice Yoga Asana?

Yoga asana practice

How often should I practice hatha yoga (physical yoga)?

1-2 classes per week: Reduced stress, modest improvement in flexibility and balance, modest improvement in breathing,modest postural improvement, better sleep, safe exploration of recent injuries.

3-4 classes per week: All of the above plus significant increase in strength, flexibility and balance, increased energy, better posture, improved circulation and skin, improved breathing, mood, attention, concentration, memory and over all sense of well-being.

5 or more classes per week: All the above plus great endurance and energy, total body awareness and reintegration, profoundly enhanced mental clarity, awareness, emotional stability and sense of well-being

Yoga Lineages

Yoga Lineages

Ananda yoga (uh-non-duh)

Originated in California with Swami Kriyananda (Donald Walters) who, in the 1960s, completed a period of intense yoga training aspiring to loftier goals than simply building a hard body. The practice includes gentle postures, gentle transitions, and self-awarenesswith Paramahansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi and guru to Bikram Choudhury.) Students use silent affirmations while holding a pose,

Anusara yoga (ahn-ooh-sar-uh)

Established in 1997 by John Friend of Spring, Texas. Anusara means “to step into the current of divine will” or “flowing with grace.” The unique emphasis is on the “Universal Principals of Alignment” which are Opening to Grace, Muscular Energy, Inner Spiral, Outer Spiral, and Organic Energy

Ashtanga yoga (osh-tong-uh)

Created by Pattabhi Jois, is a pre-determined set of poses divided into the Primary and Secondary series (advanced students learn as many as six series) and the movement is rapid, which quickly builds heat and strength. Use of sun salutations help touch each muscle of the body. Popular teachers include Richard Freeman; brothers from the Texas Hill Country, David and Doug Swenson; and Beryl Bender Berch.

Baptiste yoga (bap-teest)

Baron Baptiste, influenced by Ashtanga Yoga, created what he calls Power Yoga. Like Ashtanga, the movement is rapid and heat- inducing

Bikram yoga (beek-rum)

Founded by Bikram Choudhury, who now resides in posh Southern California. The key to Bikram yoga is its replication of yoga’s birthplace—India. The atmosphere within the studio is hot (topping 100o) and very humid which is meant to loosen tension from the body and remove toxins through sweat. Like Ashtanga, Bikram has a pre-determined set of poses, 26 of them, which are never altered in any way. If the practice is not exactly as prescribed by Mr. Choudhury, it is not Bikram yoga, no exceptions!

Hatha

All physical yoga styles . It is the yoga of physical well-being, designed to balance body, mind, and spirit.

Integral yoga

Created by Swami Satchidananda, who was a follower of Swami Sivananda, presented his philosophy of “an easeful body, a peaceful mind, and a useful life” in 1966. Integral yoga spends 30-40 minutes a day doing postures to get the body fit, followed by a deep relaxation, then a pranayama practice of rapid breathing to energize the body. The approach is gentle and meditative.

Integrative Yoga

Therapy Joseph LePage developed Yoga Therapy in 1992 in San Francisco, California for hospitals and rehab centers. Therapeutic use of gentle postures, guided imagery, and breathing techniques are used to aid heart disease, AIDS, and psychiatric disorders

Iyengar yoga (eye-en-gar)

B.K.S. Iyengar is from Pune, India, studied under Krishnamacharya, and came to the United States in 1974. Intense focus is placed on the subtleties of each posture and includes detailed, slow, precise postures using props such as belts, blocks, chairs, walls, and blankets to accommodate special needs, weaknesses, or imbalances. The practice is very demanding mentally because of the attention to physical detail. Iyengar’s most popular teacher is Patricia Walden who has many books and videos available.

Jiva Mukti yoga (jee-vuh mook-tee)

Partners David Life and Sharon Gannon teach Jiva Mukti yoga in the heart of Manhattan. The practice combines Ashtanga, vinyasa, chanting, meditation, readings from sacred texts, music and affirmations, and courses in Sanskrit

Kali Ray Tri yoga

In 1986, Kali Ray established Tri Yoga in California. Flowing vinyasa movement and mudras (hand seals) are taught in a deeply meditative environment often accompanied to music. Tri Yoga renamed popular yoga poses to fit its needs: Down dog is called Mountain, Pigeon is called Swan, and when moving into standing forward bend the instruction is to “touch earth

Kripalu yoga (kri-pah-loo)

In the 1970s, Amrit Desai studied under the Indian guru Kripalvananda, who was a master of Kundalini yoga. Desai later founded The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, in Lenox, Massachusetts. The Kripalu Center is the largest yoga retreat center in North America, located in the Berkshire Mountains. The focus is self-discovery with three distinct stages of practice: willful practice, willful surrender, and meditation in motion. Practice- intensity ranges from gentle to vigorous.

Kundalini yoga (koon-duh-lee-nee)

Once a closely guarded secret practiced by a select few, Yogi Bhajan broke the tradition in 1969 and brought Kundalini yoga to the west. Using postures, dynamic breathing techniques, bandhas, chanting and mantras, meditation, and mudras, students perform to move energy into the higher chakras (energy centers.)

Pheonix Rising Yoga

A combination of classical yoga, breathing, and one-on-one psychology

Sivananda yoga (shi-vuh-non-duh)

Based on the philosophy of Swami Sivananda. In 1957, Swami VishnuDevananda, a follower of Sivananda, brought his teachings to the United States. He founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers (now totaling 80 world-wide), which teachers the 5-principle system of proper exercise (Sun Salutations and 12 basic asana), positive thinking, and meditation.

Svaroopa (svah-roo-puh)

Means “transcendent inner experience,” developed by Rama Birch who was frustrated with teaching yoga and with students who seemed to be forcing the pose onto their body rather than allowing the pose to express itself from the inside out. Rather than just “learning” the poses, her approach is to feel the effect and the “opening” nature of the pose. The practice is generally very approachable, and accepts an ability to teach differently for the given situation. This led to the development of yoga for Dr. Deepak Chopra and his Center for Well Being.

Tantra

Uses visualization, chanting, asana, and strong breathing practices to tap highly charged energy in the body called kundalini.

Viniyoga

Created by T.K.V. Desikachar (son of Krishnamacharya), Viniyoga is a vinyasa-like approach to asana, occasionally intense, and also therapeutic. Poses are synchronized with the breath and the practice is determined by the needs of the students as they grow and change. The most well-known Viniyoga teacher is Gary Kraftsow who now runs the American Viniyoga Institute in Maui and leads workshops world-wide.

::COMING HOME TO WHO YOU ALREADY ARE ::

“In the many wisdom traditions throughout history, the body has been called a temple for the spirit. We prefer to begin with an image that is less grandiose than a temple. A temple is an awesome destination. To go to a temple requires that I come outside of my home and everyday life in order to come in contact with the presence of the sublime. Rather than a temple of magnificent marble columns and lofty spire, we are inviting you into an image of your body that is more personal, more like a cozy seat in front of a hearth, shared with your most trusted friend. And this trusted friend beside you is yourself – not the lofty teachings of an authority on mystical transcendence, but the wisdom of your own inner counsel.

Among the many views present in the work of yoga today, we hold a perspective that comes from an inquiry into who you already are. In our view, yoga is an inquiry that begins when you come to the questions of meaning an purpose in your life. Yoga can be a mirror for you to behold the power, beauty and wisdom that is bubbling inside of you. We sincerely desire that the time you invest in this inquiry will result in a deeper appreciation of the flesh and blood home of your own body. Nothing less than a homecoming to the cozy security of your home within. In contrast, yoga is often presented in the West as an austere and esoteric discipline, somewhat unattainable. The books, journals and media have produces image of perfect postures modelled by perfect people that become internalized as secret goal we long to achieve. These presentations can easily become more ways to separate ourselves from our in-born wisdom by glamorizing the technology of yoga and idealizing the authority special star yoga teachers. Yoga can appear as yet another way to look outside of ourselves for the peace and harmony we seek.

What if there were another way to a harmonious integration of body, mind and spirit that did not require you to leave the truth of your own inner wisdom and the comfort of your body as your home? What if you relaxed into a relationship with yourself in which you have the attitude of fascination, being so absorbed in the intrigue of your actual experience that you become interested in yourself as you are, interested both in the pleasure and the pain of being you? Is it possible that the environment of your body could feel like home – like a place you would want to be in which there were no goals you had to impose upon yourself to make your body different of better? To return to the vivid sensations of being at home in our bodies requires a new kind of journey that does not travel beyond ourselves as the source for self-improvement. To come home to ourselves, we are needing a return to the original creativity of spirit which allows us the freedom and benevolence to begin with ourselves as we already are.

Our sense of who we ar as individuals develops within the context of our culture’s wisdom, history, and traditions. But hidden in the nature of being identified within any group – be that family, religion, or culture – is the seductive force that homogenizes all idiosyncratic differences into the unifying characteristics of the group. To come to intimately know ourselves as individuals requires turning inside to identify personal meaning and fulfillment.

In looking to the historic traditions of yoga as a map for making the inner journey, I have discovered that unless I look to the early spirit of inquiry and creativity modeled in the origins of Yoga, I am likely to get caught up in the expectations inherent in the contemporary versions of yoga that are cycling through our culture at the moment. Many popular forms of yoga are offered with such fundamentalist zeal that personal inquiry is discouraged and experimentation with the traditional form is met with caution and fear. Routinized or formulaic approaches to yoga that do not vary with the individual or take into account the developmental needs that arise at different stages of life can become internalized as a substitute for genuine self-inquiry into what stimulates our evolutionary capacities toward growth and change.

We use the word “yoga” in a similar in a way in which the word “adobe” has become universal. The word adobe is not indigenous American or Spanish, as I had always thought. Adobe is an Arabic word that found its way into use throughout the world, from Africa to Israel, from India to Costa Rica, from Santa Fe to Peru. In all those places, adobe refers to huts and cottages that are constructed of mud bricks. In my estimation, the word yoga has similar universality. As I watch the word yoga enter mainstream culture, I appreciate its wide reference to a multitude of practices and modalities that share the foundational intention of bringing abut integration of all aspects of one’s being through a combination of physical and mental practices that both expand self-awareness and produce spiritual attunement.

Our bodies, like the clay we impress with the designs and shapes of our imagination, are infinitely malleable. We are the beings endowed with the ability to both shape and be shaped by the worlds we live in.

:: YOGA AS INQUIRY :: STAY CURIOUS

“As Yoga has entered into the mainstream culture, we have noticed that the word “yoga” has become a generic term which refers to a multitude of practices and modalities sharing the foundational intention of bringing about the integration of body, mind and spirit. By contexting yoga as interdisciplinary, we draw from the Eastern and Western traditions of body-mind culture to stimulate the creativity which makes it possible to have yoga come alive in today’s world.

A teacher and student who opens into an interdisciplinary inquiry of yoga is capable of participation with the evolution of yoga through the validity of their own experimentation and discovery. Ultimately, we view the goal of yoga to be an avenue to self-awakening. Traditionalists who prefer to keep yoga pure to the conventions of a particular school or historical past in India, are facing an erosion of support for a fundamentalist view that there is a true yoga. What are often being presented as historical records that strictly outline the do’s and dont’s of yoga are being revealed as contradictory, historically unverifiable and given widely differing interpretations. What is verifiable is that yoga in many forms has been practiced for centuries and is the result of a continuously evolving process of inquiry.

We do not view yoga as a 6,000 year-old-science or religion that must be historically related to be of use in our growth as human beings on the planet at this time. We do view yoga as an art – like the art of painting for example. If you want to learn to paint, you begin with the style and material of the teacher who introduces you the experience. You learn the basic of the approach and open into the wider field of experience by studying many artist, many styles and many traditions. But if your prematurely fixate on the style of one school of thought or expression, you will never find your own personal style. Each new teacher will give you a window to see your unique expression and contribution to the field.

In addition to yoga as an art, we also believe that you is a science, the truth of which is revealed through direct, personal experience and results. We believe that the archetypes of experience which are unfolded through various yoga posture and movements are open for a wide variety of experimentation and are revealed as meaningful in the life of every individual who take son the practice of yoga – in whatever form one is introduced to the experience. “

“Come home to who you already are!” In experiences of yogic inquiry, you will discover your ability to listen to your body through communication with your internal self. You will find that your body is a place of refuge, renewal and self-regenerations, as well as a source of intuition and wisdom. The energy that your receive is the energy of sensory awareness, An attunement to the pulse of your own inner being. You will come the sense that your body is not just a house that you enter from time to time, but a home – a place that is continuously being fashioned by you to fulfill your needs and to make deep contact with the unfolding layers of yourself.

After all, the story goes that God got his hands stuck in a lump of clay to fashion an image in his own likeness. If we are to participate with the creative force moving through all of creation, isn’t it possible that we must claim the power within our being to shape the world in which we live – from the inside out. “

“Consciousness is not something we learn or create, it is discovered through a process of unlearning habitual patterns which keep us locked into the past.”

:: ISN’T THAT INTERESTING? ::

Yoga provides a process of inquiry that leads to consciousness within ourselves. The immediate physical benefits are the results we experience. We have energy. With this new abundance of energy, we direct our attention back in to deeper and deeper levels of awareness, expanding into the domains of the primal programming in our biological organism. Yoga develops one’s ability to tap into the inexhaustible source of creative energy that keeps bubbling up when you stay open to learning form your own experience. The opportunity to teach you is a privilege in that our students draw out realizations that remain hidden to us until they are called forth. The relationship between student and teach is a direct connection to staying fresh and involved in the inquiry process.”