Word of the Year 2018 – Reclaim

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Listen for Guidance — Incense and Intentions

 

Holding space for whatever wants to be heard.

Taking time to sit, breathe and receive…

Remember to use ALL your resources…

Open your INNER eyes… Heighten ALL the senses…

Tune into the Earth and all Realms…

All is available…to you now..

via Listen for Guidance — Incense and Intentions

What is Hatha Yoga?

I was asked this question last week… What is Hatha Yoga?    Hatha Yoga is the Yoga of asana – the physical postures.   The whole body, mind and spirit is connected together through the practice.   Yoga means to “yoke”  “unite” to “connect” and Hatha is a pathway to connection.   A Hatha Yoga class will include pranyama (breath practice) and meditation along with the physical postures.    Generally we begin with centering, then warm up starting on the floor, then working to standing postures, then working the way back down to the floor for more postures and finally working the way to Savasana – a meditative relaxation to integrate the practice.

All of the different styles of Yoga find a home base in Hatha Yoga and were later modified into different styles, but the roots and basics are Hatha.    This style of Yoga usually has longer holds and will be slower pace than a vinyasa or flow class.    Hatha Yoga connects and energizes all layers (koshas) of body, mind and spirit.   From the teachings of Yoga we learn that the physical postures were designed to make it easy for Yogis to sit and meditate for long periods.   Physical postures prepared the body, allowed tension to release which allowed the mind to settle.   Ahhh… yes…try to tame our  “Monkey Mind”  🙂    On a side note – I actually have come to appreciate my monkey mind now in meditation, because of the creativity and ideas that flow.

Through Hatha Yoga we build strength and flexibility in mind -body- spirit.   We may notice we become stronger and more flexible off the mat as well and deal with the stressors of life a little easier.   Practice…practice  🙂   The Sanskrit word “Ha-tha” breaks down to mean “Sun-Moon” – opposites.   Yoga brings union of the masculine, heat, Yang, “sun” energy and the feminine, cooling, Yin “moon” energy and we are brought into balance through our practice.    These energies balance each other out – everything is connected.

Hatha Yoga allows us to gather all of our energy (prana) together… united… and at the end of a Yoga class that feeling of wholeness is undeniable.

Namaste – Kerry

Asanas are not just physical exercises: they have biochemical, psycho-physiological and psycho-spiritual effects. The cells of the body have their own intelligence and memory. Through practice of different asanas blood circulation is improved, the hormone system is balanced, the nervous system is stimulated, and toxins are eliminated, so that the cells, sinews and nerves are kept at their peak level. Physical, mental, and spiritual health and harmony are attained. – BKS Iyengar

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Practice and all is coming…

I have been reading some articles about people getting hurt in Yoga over the past year and they are asking about the safety of Yoga for “everyone”. What really comes to my mind here is the “power” of a regular practice. Also, choosing the class and the teacher that works best for you. It is often hard to allow ourselves to be a beginner at things and this includes our yoga practice. Its a practice in itself to recognize our own limits and boundaries and honor what we can do today…right now.

If people only do Yoga once a week and take a very “vigorous” class they may be pushing the body much further than it is ready for. Sort of a “Weekend Warrior” approach to Yoga… I get it.  Most of us work and are trying to squeeze in as much as we can on our time off.   I work full time then teach yoga 2-3 times a week so believe me when I say I get it!  🙂  🙂 It can be soooo tough to get it all in… Ultimately, it is a life long practice and some poses may take years to get close to getting into if at all for the majority of people. Some days we may feel we can’t hold a simple pose to save our life… However, the good thing is we don’t have to be defeated by these things, but possibly could be relieved by them!   It can take the pressure off a bit. We are human after all!

I finally learned to ask myself questions about why I wanted to do a certain pose? Why do I feel I need to? If I can’t do every pose am I still good enough? Is doing this pose going to make me a better teacher? What is working well? Can I accept I don’t have the strength yet? Acceptance and letting go – detaching from the outcome – is kind of a big deal. Yes, it can be humbling.
It can also keep us safe.

I can be competitive with myself and I have strained a bicep pushing myself to go ahead with more repetitions. This is the lesson of the practice – to listen to our own body. The body can be pushed around by the mind… I have to come back to this idea frequently…

Patanjali teaches us to find and practice “steadiness and ease” in our poses – “Sthira and Sukham” – that takes sooooo much practice to slow down enough to work with the breath and stop when we are not ready to go further. He speaks to this from the general sitting for meditation and it extends to all the poses. I think it extends also to how we come to the mat in general. Find steadiness with a building a regular yoga and meditation practice. Find ease by letting your practice be shorter if needed, more restorative if and when needed, releasing judgement, not comparing to others, understand and LOVE that yoga is more than asana and most of all …finding space for breath.

The best thing we can do is keep coming to the mat and building consistency…as Pattahbi Jois said “Practice and all is coming”…

Talking about Transformation

Click to read :

Laura Is Imaginary

Great post about transformation from someone who took my Yoga class. This girl has spunk & will be a great Yoga teacher! I am honored by the “mention” in this post! This is yet another reason why I teach….meeting inspiring students, teachers and Teachers in training! Although…aren’t we Yoga teachers ALL Always teachers in training ?? Yoga is a lifetime practice – keep learning & growing. 🙂
She has written an honest , real blog post here about her journey….Enjoy!!!

Glad to be in a training with you now Laura!

2014…New Year – Divine Self Care

This is the time of year when all the “new years resolutions” abound. Most of them are around fixing something about ourselves or our lives. My personal resolution is no different… This year though I have much more awareness about how to use my Yoga practice to fuel me, nourish me and use more compassion and awareness in my self care.
The number one resolution going is probably around weight loss. Again… my resolution isn’t much different 😉 They always say more gym memberships sell and gyms are overcrowded. There is good in this quest to get healthier, but my intention is to come from a Yogic place this year.

So this week my question is where are you personally improving or planning to improve your own self care? How are you going to use Yoga and meditation to help you on this journey?

A lot of times other things are put before our own self care. Lets try to keep ourselves on our own “to do list”

I think true self care should come with a healthy dose of self compassion. Not judging the past, just acknowledging what is and then moving forward. We often beat ourselves up and it has come to my attention how often I do this to myself.
Practice…practice…loving kindness…practice 🙂

I have been thinking of the term self sabotage and recognizing that behavior in myself at times… this upcoming year I am realizing that I can use my Yoga and meditation to care for myself better. Not only in thoughts and words…but actions.
Investing in myself is “Divine Self Care” It honors my body, mind & spirit.
It is up to me… and my conscious awareness – daily – moment to moment – of honoring my true self – that will bring the positive changes I would like. Some days its 2 steps forward 1 step back… that’s ok.
Actually that is called a cha cha ? Right?

A practice –
Try to be aware consciously through the day when you use negative self talk
When you notice this – silently or aloud – offer yourself the mantra – Namaste

Affirmation:
I honor my body
I am making positive changes
I practice self care
and self compassion
I take time each day
in compassionate awareness
I let go of judgement
and step into loving kindness

I wish you well in 2014!
Namaste – Kerry

Free 4 week meditation series available starting 1/1/14 !!

http://www.lifebalanceyogawellness.com