Yoga is…

“Let go of the competitive mind-set. Yoga is noncompetitive. It is not just a work-out, it is not just techniques for relaxation, and it is not just cross-training. It is a spiritual practice that makes the body stronger, more flexible, and generally much healthier. The purpose is to calm the mind, open the heart, and stimulate our spiritual evolution.”

Quoted from Teaching Yoga by Donna Farhi. Taffy Frost from Yoga Tree.

Springing forward too quickly

It’s been a few weeks since my last post and I don’t know where the time has gone.
The Yogathon took place in April and it was a fabulous day. There was lots of information of living a health lifestyle. Enough food to feed us all day long and really great prizes. All which were donated my local merchants. Yahoo to them all!

I had the opportunity be meet a few new people and step out of my comfort zone and into a laugher circle. I experienced every type of laugher I have in me. At first, the truth is it was a forced laugh, then a nervous laugh which turned straight into a this is crazy laugh. It was just funny… what was I doing here, with so many people I just met, laughing at being silly together. You couldn’t help but laugh. By the end of the session I felt renewed and giddy. You must try it. For myself, in the words of my Love, “I’ll try anything twice.”

This session of yoga classes is gearing down. Our last Thursday evening class will be this Thursday (May 27). The Monday morning class will run through to June 28. At that point I’ll see if the group would like to carry on through the summer. Please join us if you’d like, it’s a great way to start the week.

Savasana: The Movie

This video is hilarious. A great example of what really goes on in savasana (corpse pose).  Quieting the mind is so hard to do. Enjoy –  Savasana: The Movie. (Please note: this video is NSFW, do to some of the language)

[via yogadorks]

Reflecting on the past decade

Here we are, a decade behind us and a new year to look forward too. This past week I’ve been reflecting on the past ten years. What has transpired? Where is my life headed? What is left undone? I have a lot to be grateful for; I’ve never been so content with life as I am today. Even though the last decade had it’s roller coaster moments and even at times “how could this be happening” consumed my thoughts, I’m glad it all took place. It has made me the person I am; someone activity striving to be the best I can be.

I’m dedicating my free time the rest of the winter months to Svadhyaya, the yogic discipline of studying sacred text and studying oneself. Svadhyaya is part of  Patanjali’s Eight Limbed path (Ashtanga Yoga) described in the Yoga Sutra. In brief, the eight limbs are steps and practices that will lead to enlightenment. Asana and pranayama are both limbs in this path. Through reading and researching yoga text, a better understanding of the Self (our true nature), as well as skills of self-observation that leads to yoga or union will present itself.

One of the best text I found helpful in understanding what yoga is all about, The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar. It’s well written, in simple terms without being over welling.
A great way to experience self study is in your yoga practice. Observe your thoughts, is your mind present? How does the movement/yoga posture feel in your body? What subject matter draws your mind away?

Q&A: Why roll to the right?

When coming out of savasana (corpse pose) we roll to the side and ease ourselves back to a seated position using our arm strength. This way we aren’t jolting our calmed flow of energy, we are moving mindfully and keeping our lower backs safe from potential strain which could occur from a jack knife movement we’d normally get up with. However,  this doesn’t answer the question, why the right?

It has been said we roll to the right to allow our hearts to stay open, continuing to give and receive. I have also recently learned it’s a symbol of the sun rising from the east to the west, dawning a new day after a great rest.

Anatomically we roll to the right so there isn’t any unnecessary pressure and weight on our open heart, keeping a stable blood pressure. As well, the right side of the brain is more meditative then the left allowing your mind to wake up gradually from savasana.

I would suggest resting on the left side of the body after a meal which will stimulate digestion. Also, for those students that are pregnant, for better circulation.