Reflection on a Yoga Practice

Over the last few weeks I have relaunched my yoga practice – choosing to begin as a new student and establish a fresh daily yoga routine. I have started simply with sitting with my breath first thing in the morning and reflecting on the true meaning of yoga.

As a word, yoga (or yuj) means to bind, join or yoke. I love this definition as it plainly specifies a very important concept -connection. The connection of our breath to our bodies and minds and the connection of our energies to the universe.

Now I am excited to begin each day and reconnect to my practice and the foundation of yoga. However, I have found that in order to acquire any new connections, I first have to clean my slate. I need to allow for a fresh perspective; one that isn’t influenced by a prior practice or of what I presume to know.

This week I have been reflecting on a quote from the poet/calligrapher Kohad:

I cast the brush aside

From here on

I’ll speak to the moon

Face to face.

By reflecting on these words, I can receive what it is I seek in this new phase of my yoga practice. Like the waning moon, I will slowly dissolve my old state so that I can begin anew.

I look forward to the journey ahead. Namasté.

As I promised my students, I am now using this blog to supplement my new book, Yoga Posts: Building a Steady Practice One Day at a Time. In book club fashion, this will be our space to reflect on each chapter’s challenge and the ways we can honor the challenge throughout the week. If you wish to follow along, please look to my first post.

Daily Yoga Vitamin for Healthy Bones

spine-257870__340Are you ready for today’s Yoga Vitamin?

For the past few weeks, I have been providing an assortment of Yoga Vitamins – sequences of yoga postures and breathing techniques to nourish your body, mind and spirit. To be the most effective, a daily yoga vitamin should consist of six essential ingredients: centering & opening positions, standing & focus poses and inversion & relaxation postures.

This week I will give you the “prescription” for a healthy bone sequence. This is an enriching yoga vitamin – one that targets the joints and moves the spine in all directions to combat osteoporosis and arthritis.

 Yoga Healthy Bones Vitamin

  1. Centering & Breath Awareness: Start with a Supine Full Body Stretch to lengthen the muscles. Incorporate Bananasana to stretch the spine and breathing muscles.
  2. Opening Poses: Down Dog and Plank (repeating this set of poses is a great for upper body strength and linking movement with breath). Then, proceed to Side Plank and Reverse Plank to focus on arm bones.
  3. Standing Poses: Warrior II and Side Angle for leg bones.
  4. Focus Pose: Hero and Cow Face Pose for hip joints and seated twists for spinal rotation.
  5. Inversion: Practice Forward Bend to keep the legs bearing weight. But support the head with a chair to release more fully.
  6. Restorative Pose: Savasana with the lower legs resting on a chair to ground and balance the sacrum. End in a seated posture and practice extending your exhalations.

As promised, here is a helpful set of supplements for you to pick and choose from. These extras will, hopefully, boost your daily practice and give you added support for the day!

Mantra: Om = Yoga’s universal sound and the root of all mantras. The vibration of which moves from the pelvis through the spine to the crown of your head.

Mudra: Prithivi Mudra or the earth mudra for stability and nourishment.

Props: This sequence of poses may benefit from the use of blocks to support a comfortable seat and assist with the standing postures.

Essential Oils: In general, any woodsy oil such as cedar, fir or pine will connect to the bones. Wintergreen, lemon and Rocky Mountain Oil’s Joint Support help to ease bone bruises or joint weaknesses.

Music: A great artist for grounding is Anugama.

If you want to check out another Daily Yoga Vitamin prescription, just click on last week’s post.

And if you have anything else to add, I’d love you hear your comments! MeditatingEmoji

Daily Yoga Vitamin for a Healthy Nervous System

photo-1528319725582-ddc096101511Are you ready for today’s Yoga Vitamin?

For the past few weeks, I have been providing an assortment of Yoga Vitamins – a sequence of yoga postures and breathing techniques to nourish your body, mind and spirit. To be the most effective, a daily yoga vitamin should consist of six essential ingredients: centering & opening positions, standing & focus poses and inversion & relaxation postures.

This week I will give you a “prescription” for a healthy nervous system sequence. This is a soothing yoga vitamin – one that provides balance and creates a centering and calming effect. Continue reading “Daily Yoga Vitamin for a Healthy Nervous System”

Daily Yoga Vitamin for a Healthy Heart

woman-1801281__340Yoga provides wonderful benefits to the cardiovascular system. Beginning with the breath, focusing on the inhalation and exhalation generates greater awareness of how we move air in and out of our bodies. Opening and standing poses lengthen and expand our torsos so that we can bring in more oxygen. Twists and inversions effectively circulate the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. Therefore, developing a heart healthy yoga vitamin is key to our well-being.

I am defining our Yoga Vitamin as a group of components essential to maintaining your body, mind and spirit. To be the most effective, your yoga vitamin should consist of six essential ingredients: centering & opening positions, standing & focus poses and inversion & relaxation postures.

So, this week I am providing a “prescription” for a healthy heart. This practice sequence centers on bringing more oxygen to the body and getting that oxygen (and the nutrients it carries) circulating smoothly through the body’s systems. Continue reading “Daily Yoga Vitamin for a Healthy Heart”

Daily Yoga Vitamin for Overall Health

photo-1422433555807-2559a27433bd

Are you ready for your Daily Yoga Vitamin?

Last post I defined our Yoga Vitamin as a group of components essential to maintaining your body, mind and spirit. To be the most effective, your yoga vitamin should consist of six essential ingredients: centering & opening positions, standing & focus poses and inversion & relaxation postures.

This week I will give you a “prescription” for a universal health sequence. This is a good yoga multivitamin – one that you can use as an overall general practice. It emphasizes the principal of contraction and extension for the muscles – a benefit unique to yoga. Continue reading “Daily Yoga Vitamin for Overall Health”

What’s A Daily Yoga Vitamin?

photo-1534322989717-f57e38ba9120Do you take vitamins each day to keep yourself healthy?

A daily yoga practice can also serve to keep you in tip top shape. Think of it as your Daily Yoga Vitamin – a group of components essential to maintaining your body, mind and spirit. The dosage doesn’t need to be a large one but to be effective it should consist of these six essential ingredients. Continue reading “What’s A Daily Yoga Vitamin?”

Your Brain on Yoga

adorando el solWe are blessed with brains that are both practical and mysterious. Although science has thoroughly studied this amazing organ, there are numerous discoveries yet to be uncovered. No wonder it is so well protected and sits up so high!

These last few weeks I have been exploring what I will call mind yoga. The concept of which is cultivated through energy alignment, pranayama and meditation.

In order to truly be aligned, energy should be generated at all levels of the chakric system – from the muladhara or root chakra all the way up to the sahasrara or crown chakra.

In yoga, there are several postures to facilitate and balance these energy centers. Since I have covered most of them in past posts, today I will focus on the uppermost level of the chakric chain.

Continue reading “Your Brain on Yoga”