Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finding our Dharma or purpose

I think this is a topic that many of us struggle with everyday. I for one would like to have a greater purpose in the world, make my contribution for a better world and help others. Sometimes day to day, this over all sense of purpose can get lost. In my yoga practice, asking for my purpose each day is a way to stay focused, standing in Mountain pose and closing my eyes and asking to receive my Dharma or purpose for that day helps immensely, all I have to do is listen. At the end of my practice I ask again, this opens and closes my practice, it can also give my practice intention for that day.I don't always know what I am going to do before coming to my mat, but once I am there, it always comes to me whatever I need, and whatever I need to take with me. If you have ideas from your practice I would love to hear them! Namaste'

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Being Present

Today, is one of the most lovely days, we have had in Minnesota. Such a fabulous fall. I find that during this weather, it is naturally meditative. And I found that wow, I had not writen on my blog in quite sometime and had considered starting a new one but thought really, I would forgive myself for not completeing my last blogging project. I have found my practice to be very meditative, and promoting more opportunity during the day to settle my mental energy and meditate. So much presents itself in the fall, life is very full and I found my practice has had to meet that and assist me to stay energized. One of those ways is to connect with nature and go on very meditative walks. And calm the mental energies and thoughts.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sukasana, easy pose

Sukasana was really the first pose that I started with, and how uncomfortable I was the first time in yoga class sitting in it and chanting, I could not get comfortable.
It took quite some time and some experimentation with just how much blanket to sit on that helped. Breathing and spending time in it with directing breath to my hips and allowing myself to sit for longer periods was the key. It is not always easy to find the "ease" in a pose but as we continue to practice, experiment with what you are doing and allow yourself to be there for longer periods instead of merely just passing through the pose.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pose 3, Paschimottanasana

I have avoided this pose for years, until I could accept, be gentle and soften when it came to my tight hamstrings. When I began yoga I would wince when the teacher said it was time for paschimottanasana(intense stretch of the east) Such a deep forward fold. i have relyed heavily on my Iyengar leanings when practicing and have found several techiniques that have worked and been comfortable enough for me
to be in it for longer periods. Sitting up on a block is my favorite with a rolled blanket under my knees to support them. Inhaling deeply and coming forward as much as I am able from the hip hinge, and then moving forward slowly as my body releases. It produces such quiet concentration in me and is soothing for the body. It has taken many years and the persistance of my current teacher, Laura, to move quietly and deeply in the poses I wish to avoid. If you have not practiced this pose in awhile take time to visit with it. Peace, namaste'

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pose 2, Childs Pose, Balasana

What better pose to choose than this! Doing childs pose everyday is very centering, calming and the ultimate in letting go. If I have days I am having trouble turning within, I natually avoid this pose. As soon as you are there, turning within is so automatic. Taking that deep breath, and feeling the back and front body soften and let go. What a perfect time, to ask what my Dharma is for the day? How do I proceed from the mat.

Ways to modify: arms by your heels, hold your hands, hook hands over heels, support your sitbones if the stretch is too much for your back, blanket under forhead if it is too hard to bring forhead to the floor. Find a way to prop so that you are completely comfortable. Also, a chair, folding forward, sit bones firmly down.

I hope these few things help, enjoy your childs pose. Namaste'

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pose 1, Parsvakonasana

I would have to say this is one of my favorite standing poses, I like the strength and stability in the legs. My practice with this pose, focused on the abdominals, or the navel point. During the past two years I have been practicing pilates and have seen such a change in all of my mat work. Finding the engagement through the abdominals to support the pose, allows the pose the extend and open. As I did to each side, focusing on the navel point, engaging(drawing the navel in and up, like the zipper effect we want in pilates, allowed the chest to lift and open, the torso is freer to rotate and open so the head can turn to look up. Allowing myself to
focus here also took much of the weight out of the legs, and pressure from the knees.

In turn this gave me more freedom in the pose and allowed my mind to soften and feel more energized by the pose.

Peace and Light Denise

30 Days 30 Poses

I found the movie Julie and Julia, very inspiring and uplifting. Meryl Streep is one
of my favorite actresses and really brought Julia Child to life.

I was intrigued by Julie's project of doing all of Julia's recipes in one year. So this is a twist on that inspiring project. My own practice shifts all the time and I recently I really thought about what I may bring to my own practice as well as make it available to other practioners. So here we go 30 poses, 30 days.......

Enjoy, and I would love your comments. namaste'

Mula Bandha

As promised I am coming back to the practice of mula bandha and breath, I am giving you a link that summarizes this very well, enjoy!!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bringing new insight to practice

Happy Spring, This is an opportune time to step back into my blog, with spring here and my focus on my own practice shifting it is a perfect time to share. As a teacher I physically do so many movements all week, that when I get to my mat, I find I do mostly restoratives. Recently, though I knew I needed something differant and started turning to some new, at least new to me, practices. I reached out for a couple of books and began reading, coming upon the bandhas. What a wonderful place to begin again. Bringing a practice, of mula bandha breath, uddiyana bandha and jalandara bandha as my focuses, it has changed my practice. I also started looking at a pose that I had never seen before and broke it down to experience it: kandasana, what a wonderful pose!
More on the bandhas in my next post. Peace and Light, Denise