December Subject of the Month ~ Community ~

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COMMUNITY

Yogasphere has become more than a yoga studio.  All of the amazing people that walk in the door and sit upon their mats have brought a special meaning to Yogasphere.  Community. True community has been organically created and the feeling of support and connection is palatable. Like-minded people coming together and sharing their warmth and smiles through the practice of yoga is what makes Yogasphere what it is.  It is often said “Yogasphere is my home”. There is something quite unique about Yogasphere where you feel safe and secure.  There is a beautiful dance that is shared with teachers and students where love and respect is present.

As we embark upon the last month of the year coming from gratitude and opening into the new year may we not forget our community.  How lucky we all are to have a place to call home.  Familiar faces, open hearts, open minds and the beauty of true community.

Thank you all.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Namaste

December Pose of the Month ~ Sukasana ~ Easy Pose

lotus

SUKASANA ~ EASY POSE

  •  Arriving on the mat typically sitting with your legs crossed in front of you.
  • Your spine is long and lengthened.
  • Gently move the flesh away from your bottom to feel the sitbones reaching down towards the mat.
  •  Your shoulders are releasing down towards your hips.
  •  Your chin is parallel to the ground as your neck is long and lengthened allowing your throat be be open and your neck long.
  •  The crown of your head is reaching upwards towards the sky.

Allowing the base of the spine all the way up to the crown of the head to be in alignment. This allows the energy to begin to flow freely throughout the body.

This beginning or centering is an opportunity to check in with the body and mind as the breath flows freely. The posture, breath and focus is an opportunity to be present in the here and now.

Some options:

Sitting upon a blanket or bolster raising the hips to assist in elongation of the spine.

Blocks can be placed under the knees to support the hips.

Sit back on your heels, if this is not comfortable on your knees, either sit on a block or put a folded blanket under your bottom. If its not comfortable on the top of your feet a thin blanket can be placed under your ankles.

Another option is to sit with legs to one side, be sure to switch halfway through the centering.

The main objective is to have the spine extended and as much space in the body as available to begin.

Enjoy Sukasana!

Namaste

June Pose of the Month ~ Agnistambhasana~ Double Pigeon, Fire Log Pose~

fire log pose

Agnistambhasana

Double Pigeon, Fire Log Pose

~Prior to doing this asana please spend ample time warming up the hips~

From a simple crossed leg position, place your hands on the floor behind your hips and lean back while sliding the heels forward to bring the shins parallel to the front edge of the mat. Gently rotate the hips forward, moving towards the front of the sit bones to be able to sit up as tall as possible. Once able to sit tall and lengthen the spine free your hands and stack the shins one on top of another.  Hands may be placed at thighs or floor depending on flexibility. Another option is to place your ankles and knees atop of each other. Only try this if it can be done with ease. Flex both feet to help support the knee joints and to accentuate the stretch in the hips. The next option is to fold forward.  This is not necessary if you are already feeling deep sensation and are at your “edge”. Breathe deep. Staying for 5-10 breaths, easing out of the agnistambhasana, and switch sides.  Please pay attention to knees and lower back while practicing.  Slight discomfort can be released through ujjayi pranayama which may relax the muscles and deepen the pose.

Enjoy Agnistambhasana!

June Subject of the Month ~ Svadhisthana ~ “Sweetness or One’s Own Place”

Yoga_Soundscape

June’s  subject of the month is Svadhisthana.  It sounds like such a foreign word, however we may be very familair with this energy center of the body once we begin to learn and understand it.  We begin to acquaint ourselves to this second “chakra’  Svadhisthana by recognizing where it is.  It is located at and slightly in front of the sacrum. This chakra governs the abdomen, low back, hips and reproductive areas.  These areas seem to be quite vunerable in our society from pain and discomfort, prone to injury, and areas in our body that we hold sacred.

Svadhisthana means “sweetness”.  The sweetness of pleasure and desire.  When this chakra is balanced we have a sense of fludity, ease of being, pleasure, healthy sexuality, and are emotionally in tune.  As in “one’s own place”, this chakra is crucial in our lives as we can be protective of our emotions and of truly letting go in fear of being “too vunerable” or feeling guilty of true pleasure . The tasks of this energy center of the body allows for the emotional and desiring movement in our lives.  We learn how to release into pleasure and how to “go with the flow” when balance is practiced. 

This energy center “chakra” revolves around all watery things which is why it is connected to the movement and flow of the body.  Water flows, moves and changes, and a healthy second chakra allows us to do just that.  Flow with the grace and ease that we so yearn for in our lives.  Our desires to feel and want thrives here.

This is one of seven that make up the chakra system. Seven wheels or vortexes, if you will, that cannot be seen, as emotions cannot be seen, but we know that they are there each with their own unique purpose to contribute to the brilliance of a human being.

When practicing yoga postures “asanas” notice the areas in you body that may be resistant. Imagine sending your breath to those areas to heal, soothe, and possibly release into an ease of being.  Let go, go with the flow, and connect to svadhisthana, the sweetness of one’s own place and let the magic happen.

~Namaste~

May Pose of the Month ~ Maysedrasana ~ Fish Pose

Fish Pose

Matsyasana ~ Fish Pose

matsy~fish asana~pose

1. Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Inhale, lift your pelvis slightly off the floor, and slide your hands, palms down, below your buttocks. Then rest your buttocks on the backs of your hands (and don’t lift them off your hands as you perform this pose). Be sure to tuck your forearms and elbows up close to the sides of your torso.

2. Inhale and press your forearms and elbows firmly against the floor. Next press your scapulas into your back and, with an inhale, lift your upper torso and head away from the floor. Then release your head back onto the floor. Depending on how high you arch your back and lift your chest, either the back of your head or its crown will rest on the floor. There should be a minimal amount of weight on your head to avoid crunching your neck. (For more about this, see the Beginners Tip below #3.)

3. You can keep your knees bent or straighten your legs out onto the floor. If you do the latter, keep your thighs active, and press out through the heels.

4.  Let your throat be open and the passage way to be free. Allow the lifted heart to support the expansiveness in the throat area.  Open this energy center in the body to open. Allow the physical form of the body to release the subtle layer of the emotional body. Embrace the magic of the yoga practice to free your body, mind and spirit.

5.  Stay for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing smoothly. With an exhalation lower your torso and head to the floor. Draw your thighs up into your belly and squeeze.

Enjoy Matseyasana ~Fish Pose

Namaste

May Subject of the Month ~ Finding Our Voice

Finding Our Voice

As we are in this world of uncertainity, may we trust our guidance and intuition and  be able to tap into the tools that will support us to listen and to be heard.  In that listening may we be true to ourselves and bring forth our voice in a way that not only serves our own individual lives but all beings everywhere.  May we have the courage and strength to know that this is right, that this is exactly where we are suppose to be at this time.

In our yoga practice my we have the patience to listen, to be kind to ourselves and practice in a way that brings joy and peace to our soul.

 “Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes—goodwill among men and peace on earth.” ~ Albert Einstein.

April Pose of the Month ~ Vikasitakamalasana ~ Blossoming Lotus Pose.

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Vikasitakamalasana ~ Blossoming Lotus pose.

“In yogic lore, the lotus is a metaphor for how all of our past experiences, especially the negative ones  can be used as fertile soil for blossoming into a more awakened being, capable of giving graciously and profoundly to others”. Sharon Gannon

 

The physical aspects of the blossoming lotus strengthens your back and core, helps elongate your spine, lifts your waist and stretches your glutes.

Making micro movements in your core will help with balance and stability.

Begin sitting upright on your mat bringing  the soles of your feet together in Baddha Konasana.

Release knees, hips, thighs and let them gently relax towards the earth.

Place your hands underneath your calves so your calves rest on your wrists and your hands are resting on the floor to start.

If you are practicing at home or new to this pose, keep you hands on the floor and rest your back against a wall to assist with the balance.

Lean backward onto the back edge of your sit bones as you lift  your legs up towards the sky with the palms facing upward to support the lifted legs.

The head and chest draw upwards as the hips and bottom release downward into the earth. This is said to be where heaven and earth meet.

Apply Mula Baddha if you are familiar (a gentle lift of the pelvic floor).

Keep the heels of your feet touching one another as you balance and breathe.

This is a nice place to recall your commitment and intention to your practice and perhaps life’s desires.

Take time and relax into this pose and feel the power of letting go. Breathe

Meditate.

Lower to butterfly

Enjoy Blossoming Lotus

Namaste~

 

April Subject of the Month ~ Commitment

yoga3teachers

The Defination of Commitment  from the Urban  Dictionary

Commitment

Commitment is what
Transforms the promise into reality.
It is the words that speak
Boldly of your intentions.
And the actions which speak
Louder than the words.
It is making the time
When there is none.
Coming through time
After time after time,
Year after year after year.
Commitment is the stuff
Character is made of;
The power to change
The face of things.
It is the daily triumph
Of integrity over skepticism.

Reading this definition hit my heart and soul.  When we say and dance around the idea of a commitment we are setting an intention to say and do what we mean and mean and do what we say. For some, that may seem easy, but there may be times when we are challenged.  In the above defination it says, “It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions and the actions that speak louder than your words.” That is a big responsiblity!  However, the outcome may be your greatest gift. The possibility of going beyond expectations and achieving what you thought may not be reached. This is true and can be applied in so many ares in our life.

Commitment is a word that transends over our every aspect of our life.  From our relationships of family and friends to our to our workplace of achievements and desires.  Commitment is what gets us up every morning.  Commitment is what we do to take care of ourselves.  Commitment is what brings us on our mat every single time.  Once we are on our mats the commitment continues with every move and breath. To stay in the practice and ride the waves of ease and challenge, to keep on practicing and never give up. To hold every moment and every breath sacred as it brings us face to face with our truth and the debths of our passion.

Through commitment we gain inner radiance and outer strength.

What are you commited to?

Namaste~

March Pose of the Month ~ Surya Namaskar C ~ Sun Salutation C

Surya Namaskar C ~ Breath and Movement Transitions ~ Move Fluidly Through the Asanas ~ *each pose moves with the Ujjayi breath (unless otherwise noted) creating a flow of grace and ease allowing the smoothness of the transitions to be the punctuation of the asanas to create a beautiful work of art.

From Tadasana

  1. Inhale~Reach arms out and up over head, option lock thumbs
  2. Exhale~Fold forward and down -Uttanasana
  3. Inhale~Step the right foot back
  4. Exhale~knee down on floor, toes back
  5. Inhale~Draw the torso and arms rise up, option to lock thumbs -Anjaneyasana
  6. Exhale~Swan-dive or fold forward, hindging at the hips, palms to floor, step back to downward facing dog – option of 1-3 breaths – Adho Mukha Svanasana
  7. Inhale~Come forward to high plank
  8. Exhale~Slowly release knees, chest and chin to the mat
  9. Inhale~Root the palms and lift the chest, toes point away -Bhujangasana
  10. Exhale~Press back into Downward facing dog -Adho Mukha Svanasana
  11. Inhale~Step the right foot forward
  12. Exhale~back knee to ground
  13. Inhale~ torso and arms rise up, option to lock thumbs – Anjaneyasana
  14. Exhale~release hands to ground
  15. Inhale~Step back foot forward to meet the right
  16. Exhale~Fold forward -Uttanasana
  17. Inhale~Reverse swan-dive up to extended mountain pose
  18. Exhale~Grow taller while drawing the palms back to the heart                                                                                                                                                                              Enjoy Practicing Classical Sun Salutation ~ Surya Namaskar C

March Subject of the Month ~ Change/Transitions ~

“How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.”
― Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

A poem is created by words and punctuation.  Without the puncuation the words would not hold meaning or be understood; the puncuation creates pauses, flow and connection from word to word and phrase to phrase to create a beautiful work of art.

An asana practice is filled with posture after posture;  pauses and awareness of the transitions in the practice create a beautiful piece of meaningful art.  The creativity that one finds through transitions can shift ones practice.  Grace and ease is present and one’s yoga practice becomes their own work of art.

The transitions can be most difficult because it brings on a shift a change; something else is about to happen and one may be uncertain.  Open to the change through mindful transition. Pay attention, breath, explore, ground into the earth that sustains you.  Stay open to what awaits; the challenge and fear may be exactly what may be called upon us to open and blossom into who we are meant to be.

Namaste