2/26/18 Week Seven: Sahasrara Chakra (Crown)

Sahasrara Chakra (Crown Chakra)- is positioned at the very top of our head and symbolizes the highest state of enlightenment, the halo. The element associated with the Crown Chakra is thought and mind function and the color connected to Sahasrara is white. Excessiveness in the crown chakra include the sense of superior intelligence, or being an elite member. Blockages in the crown chakra include materialism and lacking the ability to make your own decisions.

To help excessiveness practicing mindfulness of the body and thoughts while in many poses, as well as sitting with eyes closed sending positive thoughts to others.

To help blockages practice meditation and balancing the other six chakras.

2/12/18 Week Five: Throat Chakra (Vishuda)

Vishuda Chakra (Throat Chakra)- is found at the center of the throat and regulates our ability to communicate. This communication comes in many forms including verbal  (speaking and listening) and non-verbal (facial expressions and physical movements). Vishuda Chakra is coupled with the ether, our clear expression, and with the color blue. Signs of excessiveness in our fifth chakra include interrupting others, stuttering, over active thyroid, gossiping, constant need to talk about yourself and pointing out others are wrong. Signs of blockages in our fifth chakra include shyness, indecisiveness, lack of confidence, teeth grinding, stiff shoulders, sore throats, under active thyroid.

Poses to assist with blockages are bridge, shoulderstand, plow, and camel.

Poses to assist with excessiveness upward facing two footed staff pose, king pigeon

2/5/18 Week Four: Heart Chakra (Anahata)

Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra)- Anahata is positioned in the upper torso including the upper back, chest, thymus gland, throat, circulatory system and heart.  The element associated with the Heart Chakra is  the air and the color connected to Anahata is green. Anahata deals with trust, unconditional love, stability, wisdom, compassion and patience. Signs of blockages in the Heart Chakra include shyness, hunching or protecting the chest, standing on the heels, low oxygen levels and asthmatic type breathing. Pranayama (breath) is key to our heart chakra.  Signs of excessivenees in Anahata include jealousy, neediness, stress and high blood pressure.  When your heart Chakra is balanced you have a sense of completeness, wholeness, optimism and friendliness.

Poses to reduce blockages in Anahata include Chest Openers, Upward Facing Dog, Pyramid and Fish pose.

Poses to reduce excessiveness in Anahata include Forward Folds, Standing Straddle Splits, Child’s pose.

1/29/18 Week Three: Naval Chakra (Manipura)

Manipura Chakra (Naval Chakra)- Manipura is positioned in the solar plexus/naval/digestive area. The element related with the Naval Chakra is Fire and color connected to Manipura is Yellow. This energy vortex houses our gumption, our self-esteem, our risk taking and energy to go do things. Manipura is closely associated with our own happiness, willingness to give to others and risk aversion. Signs of blockages in our third Chakra can be digestive issues, eating disorders, sense of being a victim or helpless. Excessiveness in our third Chakra include anger, excess power, hatred and perfectionism.  Stoking the internal fire (Tapas) is as important as knowing when to allow the fire to cool.

Poses to assist reducing blockages (increasing the fire) include Dancer, Boat, Locust, all Warrior poses and vinyasas including Sun Salutations.

Poses to assist in reduces excessiveness (cooling the fire) include Bridge, Cow, Spinx and Corpse pose.

1/22/18 Week two: Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana)

Swadhisthana Chakra (Sacral Chakra)- Swadhisthana is positioned at the tailbone (coccyx), two finger-widths above Muladhara.  This energy vortex involves our procreation (sexual organs), assimilation of food (taste), physical force and vitality (kidney and urinary tracts), and sexuality. Swadhisthana is largely responsible for purification of all bodily fluids through the kidneys, bladder and lymph system, and for the continuation of life through the sex organs and glands of reproduction. Signs of excessiveness in our second chakra include overindulgence, illness, confusion, purposelessness, jealousy, impotence and bladder tribulations.  Swadhisthana is coupled with water, our connection with pleasure and enjoyment, giving and receiving, desire/passion, love, spontaneity, working well with others and with the color orange.

Poses to open the sacral chakra include forward fold, butterfly, cow face pose, pigeon, seated straddle stretch.

1/15/18 Week One: Root Chakra (Muladhara)


Muladhara Chakra (Root Chakra)- Centered at the perineum and the base of our spine, this energy vortex involves our survival needs, establishing a healthy sense of connection to the earth, caring for our body, and purging our body of wastes and toxins. The parts of our body connected to the root chakra are the base of our spine, the legs, feet, and our large intestine. Signs of excessiveness in our first chakra include greed, stockpiling possessions or money, or gaining excessive weight. Muladhara Chakra is coupled with the earth, our physical and emotional connections, and with the color red, which has a slower vibration than the colors that represent the other chakras.

Poses to ground the root chakra include mountain, butterfly, easy seated, staff, forward fold, bridge, chair, warrior I and II.


12/4/17 Weekly topic: The Seventh Limb of Yoga- Dhyana

Dhyana- the practice of meditation.

Do you ever wish you can control someones mind? Great news, you can! Through meditation you can control your own mind. Perhaps not exactly what you were going for, however, still a great tool to have. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress, anxiety, tension and rejuvenate the body, increasing overall health. The best part about meditation is it can be practiced by anyone, anywhere and a good majority of it is free.

The practice of Dhyana has been practiced for centuries, perhaps even millenniums.  Even celebrities like Jack Johnson, Moby, Oprah, Russell Brand, Ellen DeGeneres, Eva Mendes, Paul McCartney and George Lucas meditate.

Here are a few free sites to find guided meditations

Here are a few places in town you can visit for guided meditations

Take a moment. Take a breath. Give meditation an try.

11/27/17 Weekly topic: The Sixth Limb of Yoga-Dharana

Dharana is the state of deep concentration or intense focus.

How many times have you tried to focus on one thing, only to find yourself getting side tracked? With multi-tasking being a routine part of daily life and doing more with less, it is challenging to just do less. Set aside some time today, maybe 5 minutes or however long you choose, to do one thing.  It can be anything you choose, but try to focus only on that one thing.  If you are limited with time, set a timer and do not look at the timer until it rings. (Yes it will ring, focus on your task.) Here are a few suggestions of things to do;

  • Go for a walk, with no end point. No place to be.  No goal on how far. Just be the best walker you can be. Focus on how your foot strikes the earth. Notice if your arms move while you walk. Be aware of your body’s reaction to just walking. Focus on only walking. (This is surprisingly more challenging than you think.)
  • Wash a window or the dishes. Set no goals on how many windows or dishes get washed. Concentrate on the act of cleaning the one thing in front of you once it is complete, perhaps you have used all of your time or perhaps you have time to clean one more window or dish. Let your mind focus on the amount of cleanser on the item, the amount of wipes it takes to clean the item, the cleanliness of the item once it is finished.
  • Write a thank you card. Think about what you want to write. Notice how the pen scratches against the card. Pay attention to the formation of the letters as you write them. Place the card in the envelope observing how the corners of the card fit into the envelope. Inscribe the name and address on the envelope and affix the postage stamp and place the card in the mail. Ensure you complete all of the steps of the thank you card or perhaps the Dharana you just put into doing only one thing may not be complete.

Set a realistic time frame. Too much time and you may find yourself easily distracted or become bored. Too little time may cause anxiety or undue stress, if you run out of time perhaps you have more time to finish the task or perhaps you can come back to the task at a later time or decide not to come back to the task at all. Either way it is all okay, no one is judging you, no  one expected you to finish it all, your are not competing to be the best. You are only trying to acomplish thinking about the task in front of you, that is all.

Good luck with your Dharana challenge.  The more often you practice intense focus, the less murky life becomes. Let us know how you did.

11/13/17 Weekly Topic: The Fourth Limb of Yoga- Pranayama

Did you know you can significantly change your mood in less than a minute of intentional breath work? The practice of Pranayama also ensures that every cell in the body receives oxygen and nutrients.

Breathing techniques are known for creating Shakti (energy) and building heat in the body.

Beginner Pranayama

Kapalabhati – or Breath of Fire is a breathing technique used specifically for cleansing, and is a fierce focus on the exhale, pumping the navel. The inhale and ehale is done through the nose. Strengthens lungs, improves circulation, stimulates digestion, boosts immunity, improve concentration and creates warmth in the body.

Bhastrika – is a warrior breath pumping arms into air and striking elbows to ribs while saying: “HAH” from the belly. This breath helps move stale energy and increases circulation which help us break free our normal patterns that may block or obstruct our psyche. Benefits the digestive system and creates warmth in the body.

Anuloma Viloma – is also called the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. In this Breathing Technique, you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath, and exhale through the other nostril. Promotes optimum function for both sides of the brain and calms the nervous system.


Advanced Pranayama

Ujjayi– According to the ancient yogic text, Ujjayi can help protect you from a host of diseases by getting rid of excess phlegm, wind or bile. Ujjayi strengthens the Nervous and digestive systems. The breath is inhaled and exhaled through the nose. During the exhalation squeeze the muscles in the back of the throat as if you were fogging up a mirror or window. The exhalation will have a loud hissing noise.

Sithali – The breathing technique tongue hissing refers to the sound caused when air is drawn in through the protruding tongue folded into a tube or O shape. Inhale through the mouth drawing the air through the tube and exhale through the nose. This technique helps calm the brain, reduce blood pressure, nausea, anxiety and cool the body, beneficial for pregnant and menopause relief

Sitkari – pertains to the sound made by drawing air in through the front teeth-either tightly closed or slightly opened-with the tongue tip regulating the air pressure and sound. Exhale slowly through the nose as you bend forward to compress the stomach and express all the air from the body. Inhale slowly as you bring the body back to a vertical seated position, slightly tilting the head back to allow for a maximum amount of air to be drawn in through the opened air passage. Beneficial for the teeth and gums, energizes the body and relieves muscle strain.

Brahmari – Bee breath or Nasal Snoring is more difficult than the usual mouth snoring. Close your eyes, use your fingers to close your ears, inhale and exhale through your nose. During the exhale make a humming sound in your mouth and nasal passage. The humming should cause you to feel vibration throughout the head. This breath reduces sinus pressure, reduces stress, insomnia and body temperature additionally promotes healing in the body.