Celebrate International Yoga Day with a Free Online Class

Celebrate #InternationalYogaDay with EkhartYoga by tuning in to their Facebook Live Stream Class with World renowned teachers Esther Ekhart and David Lee Lurey!

The class starts in about 1.5 hours! You can virtually practice with fellow yogis from all over the world by joining in a 45-minute Yin-Yang flow. Esther and David will do a short Q&A right after the class. You can leave any questions in their comments on their FaceBook event page.

Join me and grab your mat, wherever you are in the world, for non-edited fun!

 

 

 

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Free yoga challenge – mini detox

My favorite yoga site EkhartYoga is hosting a FREE mini detox challenge.

3 days of online yoga and healthy eating to promote a healthier you!

Starting today, May 13th, you are cordially invited to join for 3 days of yoga and healthy eating! All you need to do is sign up and you’ll receive an email with links to 4 free yoga and meditation classes….. That’s it!

Alongside these classes, you’ll also be provided with some advice and suggested recipes to help you get the best out of this mini challenge.

Join in to receive Free access for 7 days. You can access these classes from May 13th until the 20th!

What to expect?

This mini challenge consists of 3 full-length yoga classes by Esther Ekhart AND a meditation by Esther Teule, all on the theme of ‘detoxing’ the body and mind.

 

So who’s with me?

 

 

Never Force a Pose

Today’s wisdom is that wherever you end up in a pose [Asana] is exactly right for you. No forcing, just being. Never force your body into a position that causes pain. Our bodies all move differently because of how our bones are connected. One person may be able to do full Virasana aka Hero Pose [sitting between the feet] while others may need a variation [sitting on their feet, a cushion or blocks] because of ankle or knee pain. I know it can be hard to be content, and you’ll want to do some of those amazing poses full on, but your body’s wellness is more important.

You will still be able to experience tremendous shifts in your body, mind, and heart while focusing on your safety and wellbeing. Never force a pose, or else you can cause yourself an unnecessary injury. Be humble, explore the boundaries, and see what your body can do. Move with care, have gratitude, and maintain and appreciation of all it can do for you. You can thank your body by taking care of it in return.

 

Urdhva Dhanurasana

Urdhva Dhanurasana by AndysArtworks.etsy.com 

 

 

September is National Yoga Month!

I’m excited to announce that it’s that time of year again, no not my birthday, its National Yoga Month!! You can join a worldwide community and celebrate national yoga month with other yogi’s. This month numerous studios are offering free classes, or even a free week of classes, or discount off your first month of membership if you sign up for a membership plan. You can check with your local studios and teachers to see what your options are, or take my suggestion below.

My favorite studio EkhartYoga.com, is offering a limited time offer of your first month for $1 when you sign up now.  There are numerous classes, programs, nutrition information and more. In honor of National Yoga Month the theme for September is a 30/30 Yoga Challenge [30 minutes for 30 days]. 30 minute classes will be suggested daily with three themes, Day 1 core, Day 2 balance, and day 3 integrating both in a class. The cycle repeats as we gradually increase our strength.

I am in no way affiliated with EkhartYoga, I am just a humble yogi such as yourselves. I believe in promoting and sharing causes I care about.

 

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Your breath is your companion

One of the most valuable bits of yoga advice for any level of yogi is that your breath is your companion. It’s the one thing that is always with you, and can guide you both on and off the mat. If your breathing is strained or shallow on the mat, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard and need to back off and soften the pose a little. Listen to your body’s natural queues so you don’t injure or strain a muscle. Off the mat, perhaps you’re feeling stressed. Take a few moments to breathe deeply to focus and ground yourself.

If you’re anything like me and keep a daily yoga practice because you love how you feel after a practice and or suffer from mental illness, then you can understand the need to ensure that you move safely and don’t injure yourself. If I personally miss more than a day or two I start feeling manic and depressed, hence the near daily yoga to keep me off any sort of anti-depressants. I listen to my breath and remind myself to move with “Sukha” [ease], fluidity, grace, and pay attention to what my body and my breath are telling me. Not to say anyone is perfect, I know I am not, and sometimes we end up with an injury on or off the mat…but do what you can to prevent it and your body will thank you in kind.

Deep Breath By Melanie Weidner

Deep Breath
By Melanie Weidner

Free yoga for International Yoga Day

June 21st is the International Day of Yoga! In honor of this day Ekhart Yoga is celebrating by offering everyone a day of free yoga, meditations, and relaxation classes, which includes the highlight of the day: a 108 Sun Salutations class. There will be a class for beginner levels. More details and info at their site. You can sign up for alerts from Ekhart yoga directly and or follow them on Facebook.

Who else will join me in this fun endeavor?

 

June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014.

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Yin Yoga and Unwinding the Knots of Thoughts

My thoughts, struggles, and a love/hate relationship with a Yin Yoga style of practice began about a year or two ago. It’s an interesting path for those who aren’t aware, and you hold the poses for 3 minutes. The poses you know from a yang style of  yoga like a hatha or vinyasa practice, are the same asanas [poses] but are called a different name. Example what I traditionally know as Pigeon Pose [Eka Pada Rajakapotasana] is now called Swan Pose in Yin Yoga.

At the time I dove in feet first and took a class and just didn’t really care for it. It challenged me in a way that felt uncomfortable. Now don’t get me wrong, challenge can be good for us so let me explain. Holding poses for 3 minutes was physically not comfortable. My muscles started screaming at me “is it over yet”? They longed for that singing bowl/gong sound to signify the end of holding the asana.

Fast forward a few months [during which I passed the time with yang yoga, tea, and reading of yoga articles], I discovered that you should incorporate a yin style with the yang to balance your life. Who doesn’t need balance! So one evening I was feeling particularly moody and crampy. I didn’t have the energy to do a fast past class. I was in pain [due to menstrual cramps], and desperately required some relief. I needed something gentle yet effective. I rolled out my lovely ombre yoga mat and threw on a yin class.

Yin yoga definitely tests my focus and concentration because I am turned in ward for so long. My challenge is that dreaded monkey mind many of us are so familiar with. When the mind becomes consumed with all those manic thoughts cropping up from out of no where, I have to use a trick to place the thoughts somewhere to clear my mind and make space for healing.

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I’ll share a trick with you. In order to stay focused and tuned-in while turned-in, I unwind the knots of thoughts. I do this by continually pushing any thoughts out of my mind. My trick is to imagine a set of 3 baskets. One for the past, one for the present, and one for the future. All those manic thoughts that keep popping into my mind go into those baskets. If it’s a thought from the past then it goes into the past basket, and so on and so forth.

Circling back to the yin, I stuck with the class and after 60 minutes felt like I cultivated space for healing and really accomplished something which had been challenging me for a while. When you’re in pain it really feels like that much more of an accomplishment.

Today I can say I finally embrace the yin with the yang on a regular basis. Enough so that I even decided to invest in a few helpful props i.e. a bolster and zafu cushion. Yin helps keep me balance in the evening before bed time or when I need something more low-key or therapeutic due to back pain or menstrual cramps. I’m glad that yin yoga exists as an option. I try not to go a day with out some sort of yoga, otherwise my mind starts spinning in that downward cycle of depression, not to mention physical pains from life such as long commutes to work or sitting at a desk for hours. It’s a test of your concentration but so worth it. Perhaps this personal essay / post will give you that inspiration to give it a go like I did and not give up.

SUPER BRAIN YOGA

Yoga for brain power. 

I had never heard of Super Brain Yoga, until my husband introduced me to this concept. Being that I am someone who suffers from mental illness, and who loves yoga I figured I would give it a try. I have to say that it’s really been helpful and this winter has not been as difficult as most can be, when your living in “Blizzard Central” aka Boston. What originally began as something for devotees at the temples, has given us a new lease on life.

A work out to improve my brain?

The work out pumps up your cell and neuron activity, increases your mental energy. It helps you become smarter, and sharpens your mind. Super brain yoga also helps children with learning disabilities such as autism or dyslexia. Seniors are doing the exercises to help prevent Alzheimer’s. A side note, the exercises also tone your bum.

What is Super Brain Yoga?

This ancient Indian custom and practice has been reinvented, gained popularity, and is being endorsed across the world as “Super Brain Yoga”, a technique to stimulate and energize and recharge the brain and its functioning.  It is based on the principles of subtle energy and ear acupuncture holding the ear tips. Squats would activate the Mooladhara Chakra and raise the energy levels in the body.

What is the logical/scientific reasoning behind this technique?

The physical body is a complicated subtle electronic equipment. When proper energy wiring connection is made, it produces the right results. Your brain becomes synchronized. The right ear lobe corresponds to the left brain and the left ear lobe corresponds to the right brain. You hold each lobe and you inhale as squat down and exhale as you come up.

When the right ear lobe is gently squeezed with the left thumb and left index finger with the thumb outside, it produces the necessary energy connection. This connection causes the left brain and pituitary gland to become energized and activated.

Similarly, when the left ear lobe is gently squeezed with the right thumb and right index finger with the thumb outside, it produces necessary energy connection, which causes the right brain and pineal gland to become energized and activated. 

It increases the blood flow in the memory cells in brain and stimulates neural pathways via acupressure points in the earlobe sharpening the intelligence. It is being practiced and prescribed as a therapy for all ages to enhance the health.

Want to see a demonstration? Want to see interviews on the results?

Watch this video with interviews from doctors, teachers, therapists, and neurologists thoughts.

Benefits of Super Brain Yoga…

  • It helps in the smooth functioning of the brain.
  • It improves the memory and enhances the thinking capacity of the brain
  • It revitalizes the brain and increases the mental clarity.
  • It helps in releasing the tension and calms the brain.
  • It acts as a stress buster; relieves mild depression and anxiety.
  • It helps in fueling and sustaining a healthy brain.
  • It improves focus and concentration levels and enhances balancing skills.
  • It is believed to work for children with disabilities like Autism, Dyslexia…
  • It can even help in getting rid of aggressive behaviour.
  • It is used as an intervention to support student success.
  • It is prescribed for Kids with hyperactivity and older adults with cognitive issues, memory loss…
  • It is a simple and easy technique that can be practiced at home.

 The history of Super Brain Yoga:

In India during Ganesha Chaturthi festival we come across a unique custom, especially in South India, where the devotees performed squats holding their left ear with the right hand, and right ear with the left hand. Religiously this was performed as a mark of respect and obeisance to the elderly God Sri Ganesha (Ganapathi). This convention we come across not only during Ganesha Chaturthi festival, but additionally whenever a devotee visits the Sri Ganesha temple, or worships Lord Ganesha. This action is referred to as Thorpikarnam or Thoppukarnam. In Telugu language it is called Gunjillu.

In fact this is an Indian custom that we come across in the ancient Gurukula system of education where Gurus (teachers) asks their pupils to practice this technique. You may have come across this in schools today when teachers ask students to perform this action as a token of penalty. Example for not doing their homework, not answering a question, or for making noise and disrupting the class room.

The Hindu customs of Ladies/Gents wearing ear studs/rings at the tip of the ears is based on the above concepts of raising energy in the body, and activating the mooladhara chakra.

superbrain yoga

Are You New to Yoga?

This post is dedicated to those new to yoga, or who have stepped off the mat for an extended amount of time and looking for that push to get back on the mat.

  • Like the title says, Are you new to yoga?
  • Has it been a while since you practiced yoga?
  • Do you consider your self a beginner?
  • Are you looking for a beginner program?
  • Are you looking to expand your yoga knowledge?
  • Do you just want to check out Ekhart yoga?

Esther Ekhart of Ekhart Yoga has a great incentive program promotion currently running. Only 99 cents for your first month of membership. More details can be found here  it’s a really great deal and if I wasn’t already a member myself I would jump on this. You’ll be taught all the basics right from the comfort of your own home! So no excuses.

You can register now to receive the email alerts / newsletters for the program. Try a free class with Esther before you sign up, so you can see if her teaching style will work for you. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Let me just say I am in no way affiliated with the site. I am not getting paid or compensated for this post by any means. I am just a regular person who enjoys the many offerings on EkhartYoga.com and believe in sharing the love.

 

#ekhartyoga

 

Navel to the Spine

More yoga jargon explained. “Navel to the Spine” is another a verbal que used in yoga, as well as Pilates and strength training. When presented with this instruction we want to engage our core, by pulling in our abdominal’s.

Remember just the abdominal’s only! I say that because you want to ensure you don’t create a “C” like shape with your body. You don’t want to slump forward, nor would you slouch your upper torso or tuck your pelvis. You just want to engage the abs by pulling them in with your muscles, not pulling them in by sucking or holding in your breath. Think of how you would pull in your abs if you’re trying to pull on a pair a slacks or jeans that could be a bit tight or ill-fitting, or perhaps you don’t want your tummy to stick out in a tight dress or skirt.

When performed correctly this not only strengthens our abdominal’s, but also creates an integrated core of strength that supports our body. We can become a pillar of strength using our core to support our spines. We create stability with strong abs. We add to our freedom and range of movement, and create fluidity of our muscles throughout our body.

I hope this helps to demystify some of the common jargon we hear out there.