Maintaining Zen during the Holidays

The Holidays. A time to celebrate tradition, honor your beliefs, change, joy, gratitude, and grace. . . maybe break out your showy decorations, make or buy presents,  But we all know what this time of year also has a tendency to bring with it;  The stressfullness of getting everything done in time. The obligation to see family, even though it may be inconvenient. Feeling obligated to gift give,  Navigating your way through a season of consumerism and noise. Pleasing others is a beautiful thing, but is it really that gratifying if all that effort leaves you feeling emotionally and mentally drained, and with a dry pocket book, wishing you were laying somewhere on a tropical beach with a cocktail in your hand?

Sadly, it seems with many holidays this day and age, the are far to many expectations to exceed. When did this become Christmas? Chanukah, or any of the other sacredly important Holidays celebrated this time of year? The hectic shopping crowds, the spending hundreds of dollars to travel somewhere you probably don’t really want to travel, when you could just be in the warm, comfort of your own home. I love my family, and have had many wonderful holidays with them, but I’m lucky that no one in my family makes me feel guilty if I don’t want to go out of my way to be there. They understand that Holidays can be overrated to a point of disappointment for a lot of people, so ultimately its about taking some time for yourself and doing what you need to do to get through the storm. Making an effort to be joyous, celebratory, and present with the ones you love daily opposed to reserving that kind of gratitude for one or two days out of the year.

Its a very American thing to save all your celebration and hard earned downtime and try to cram it into a few days. That can’t really be healthy. We should be taking more downtime on the regular, to take care of our own needs, and to also honor the needs of others. If we reserve only a short amount of time to relax, but also knowing that that short amount of time comes with agendas and expectations, then its not about sharing joy and quality time with your loved ones, its about putting in your dues, and thats not something anyone really looks forward to.

Remember to take time for yourself. Time to do exactly what you want and need to do, regardless of what kind of expectations anyone else has for you. Take time to be still, to be in solitude and silence, to take grounding, calming breaths. To laugh, and to cry if you need to cry. The Holidays put a lot of pressure on people to be happy and full of cheer, but for some, the Holidays bring up painful memories and past emotions. Be mindful of what others may be dealing with on a personal level and give them some of their own time to breath. If everyone takes that time to care for themselves, they can put more energy and care into giving those around them the love and support they want and hopefully have a legitimately pleasant Holiday season. free of expectations, free of stress, but full of cheer and light and gratitude. Ask yourself what the Holidays you celebrate truly mean to you and whom you share them with. No expectations, no judgement. Just honor whats important in your world. And remember not to sweat the small stuff.

YIN YOGA

Glad to start my saturday mornings sharing my love of peacefullness and relaxation. Saturday Morning YIN YOGA is one of my most well attended classes. I’m glad to see that people are recognizing the impact of slowing down the mind and calming the heart.

So often, people tend to only pay attention to bodily sensations when in pain; when something is “wrong”. Our YIN practice allows to tap into the deep inner workings of the physical body no matter what. Teaches us to recognize GOOD sensation. When we hone in and meditate on feeling good, our self awareness becomes much stronger and we are able to prevent those ailments and injuries more than waiting until we are in discomfort to “fix” ourselves.

More blocks and straps are on their way to further enrich our YIN practice. I hope to see many of you soon on the mat for some good old fashion  yummy RnR and meditation.

Energy of Instinct

 

Chakras are thought of as wheels or vortices of energy. In alignment with the spine, mostly seen through the nadis, the esoteric centers of energy located in the central channel of the body in the practice of kundalini yoga. Chakras are perceived as focal points for receiving and channeling energy throughout centers of the body and organs, and glands in the endocrine system.  This concept’s origin is in Hindu texts. The Chakras are believed to influence bodily functions and the nervous system.  The Chakras help balance out the physical body and the elements of nature, starting at the spine, the sacred seat of the physical and subtle body.

The Chakras are:

Muladhara: Base or root Chakra, associated with the ovaries and prostate. Embedded in this chakra is instinct, survival and basic human potential, sexuality. Located in the perineum and associated with the sympathetic nervous system. Represented as the color red.

Swadhistana: Sacral Chakra; Located in the sacrum and associated with the sex organs, and reproductive system. Associated with the adrenal glands, relationships, emoitnal needs, pleasure, and violence.  The color is orange.

Manipura: The solar plexus; Connected to Metabolic and Digestive Systems, groups of cells in the pancreas, as well as the outer adrenal glands and the adrenal cortex. The color that corresponds to Manipura is yellow. Key issues governed by Manipura are issues of personal power, fear, anxiety, opinion-formation, introversion, and transition from simple or base emotions to complex.

Anahata: The Heart Chakra; The color of this chakra is green and related to the Thymus in the chest and connected directly to the immune system.  Governs circulation, complex emotions and well being.

Visshuda: Throat Chakra. Thyroid gland. Color pale blue. This Chakra is responsible for communication, growth and maturation.

Ajna: Third eye; Color purple, Indigo. This Chakra is linked to the third eye and the pineal gland which produces the hormone melatonin aiding with sleeping and waking. The third eye signifies intuition.

Sahasrara: Crown; Color white. Associated with wisdom and the leaving of the body with death.  This Chakra relates to the pituitary gland and endocrine system, the central nervous system, uniting male and female energy and the connection between meditation and the physical body.

Paddle Board YOGA…

Coming this summer!

There is nothing more deeply humbling and peaceful to me, than being on the water. Just me…and the sea…It allows me to tap into a kind of higher power. Sea breeze wafting, PADABANDA on a board. An enlightening, FUN, meditative experience.  Whether you are just looking for a fun workout, or a hands on experience with nature found through your yoga practice, it is guaranteed to be a good time.

Join me and my yogini sister, Angela Glaz ( http://www.yogawithang.wordpress.com) as we take you through an hour long yoga session,focusing on the muscles and the mind set engaged in the art of  stand up paddle boarding. We will then take you for a paddle in the beautiful, biodiverse Puget sound. For any first-timers, we will go over safety and the basics of stand up paddling, the rest is us and the water.

Aloha, Namaste~

Meditations on Love

Today is a day we are known to celebrate and recognize love. Romantic love, a day for lovers to show how much they care by showering one another with affection and gifts, that perhaps should be spread about throughout each day we breath and walk on this earth? Not just one day. But since it seems almost unavoidable, lets look at how we can broaden the celebration.

I would like you to focus today on a deeper kind of love. Selfless love. True love.  A compassionate longevity kind of love for not only your true self and dear ones close to your own heart, but for the simplicity and sophistication in finding joy in the little things in life. Realizing what simple yet cherished gifts each day gives you. It is easy to become distracted or caught up in the things that irritate and stress one out. How about focusing on what you love. When you focus on that deep kind of positivity, you begin to thrive in recognizing your true self and highest potential, and it becomes contagious. These things can be as simple as a good cup of coffee,  great music, fresh air from a rainy day, making someone laugh, a pleasent scent wafting through the air, riding your bicycle, watching football, going skiing, playing with your children or pets, taking a walk. . .

Whatever it is you find to be love, allow yourself to bask in it unconditionally, everyday. There is no time to take these little things for granted, because life holds no guarantees! Surround yourself with only the best. Be at peace with that.

Namaste

Finding balance everyday…

It is a constant work in progress. This makes me wonder if any individual being, in our essence is ever truly in complete balance. Probably not. Not just speaking esoterically, but scientifically as well. To start from the ground up, when we stand on our feet, rarely are we standing on both feet evenly (accept of course when in yoga class with me).  So from there, that imbalance causes an imbalance all the way up that side of the body, affecting the flow of your energy, on a physical plane, which in my philosophy will undoubtibly  affect the balance of energy on the mental plane (your brain), as well as an emotional imbalance, affecting your mood, which has a strong affect on your health in the long run. You see it really is all quite connected. So if we all took note to stand up straight more often, take a breath of vital energy, and allow our lips to curl into a little smile, perhaps we would all be a little closer to finding balance within ourselves and the world we create around ourselves.

After all. There is no such thing as perfect balance, and no such thing as “perfection.” The point is to search for it endlessly, and see what we are capable of experiencing.