A Word from Cynthia

January 25, 2017

Yoga Focus: (from my companion yoga DVD booklet) Yoga enhances our Chakra system:
 

What is a Chakra?
 

Chakras are energetic mediators between our higher states of consciousness, the high vibratory energy of our subtle body and our familiar body, mind and emotions.  This Sanskrit word Chakra means wheel, disk or vortex, which describes how it has been perceived as it functions.  As a dynamic, conscious vortex the chakras have the capacity to receive, assimilate, organize and express our life force (chi, prana, ki) on many different levels.  There are seven primary chakras that run parallel to the spinal cord, orchestrating a nerve plexus, an endocrine gland and a host of mental and emotional aspects.
 
Connecting with the Chakra system through personal growth experiences like Rejuvenation Yoga, meditation, or Conscious awareness dissolves stress more quickly and enhances the joy and ease of our life everyday.
 

January 18, 2017

Yoga Focus: Chair Pose (Utkatasana)  
A strengthening pose on many levels with a primary focus for the back and legs.  We move into this pose with our feet parallel & hips distance apart. Inhaling extending your arms out at chest level and then exhale bending our knees as though to sit into a chair.    On each inhale, continue to lift the chest away from the thighs, up toward the ceiling.   On each exhale, gently contract the abdominal muscles tucking the tailbone under and lengthening your lower back.  

In Chair pose you can learn how much your back bends and where it bends.  It is also a pose that may allow you to see and feel how well you are striking a balance between Steadiness (sthira) and ease (sukha).  

Modification:
To help you stay in this pose, perform it near a wall. Stand with your back to the wall, a few inches away from the wall. Adjust your position relative to the wall so that when you bend into the position, your tailbone just touches and is supported by the wall.

Benefits
•  Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine
•  Stretches shoulders and chest
•  Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart
•  Reduces flat fee

January 12, 2017

Keep in mind the energy of the full moon tends to EXPAND whatever we focus our attention on.  Choose wisely.

Yoga focus:  Freedom

The discipline of yoga is a purification practice, but not in the sense that we Americans seem so inclined to believe.  The goal is purification not for the sake of purification, but for the sake of Freedom.

"The Compassionate Backbend", Yoga Journal, October 2004, p. 127

January 4, 2017

Most of us come to yoga seeking sanctuary. We realize how important it is to briefly step away from the demands of life and relax into a spacious quality of mind that allows us to be with ourselves as we are, without judgment. Insulated from the racket of demands and from the need to rush, we become quiet enough to hear the stirrings of our hearts. And in the act of accepting whatever we find there, we replenish our energy and inspiration. Accepting the truth of our selves, our hearts, our muscles, our level of energy in any given moment is the height of compassion, and practiced this way, yoga becomes an exercise in equanimity.

 “The Compassionate Backbend”, Yoga Journal, October 2004, p. 124

What a beautiful awareness, intention and desire for our yoga practices. The tricky part about having this kind of an experience is staying present to the moment we are in regarding our body’s integrity, our emotional water ways, and the activity of our mental circuits on any given day.

Let us consider the guidance from “the Compassionate Backbend” article. First, a reminder of something we all know, that our breath tells us where we are open and where we have more resistance and must pay closer attention. Then if we notice that we are over-efforting, straining, feel pain, anxiety, frustration or over striving a shift is required! Which brings us to “you can make a conscious choice to not take all that you could, not to move deeply into the pose as is possible for your body, because you see the value in holding back; you value the health and integrity of your body more than the glory of a deeper pose…That success comes from taking only what you need from a pose – only what your body can appropriately use and no more.” P 128

Enjoy, stay in the moment and be compassionate to you!