Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Musings...

Hey All!

Fall is in full effect!  Time for the leaves to change, the clocks to change, and for us to change!  It's that time of year when I'm thrilled to trade in crisp salads for warm hearty soups and tank tops for cozy sweaters.  Yeah, I know that here in CA, the ol' switcheroo from one season to the next isn't that obvious, but that just makes me all the more determined to make some fun changes in food, clothing, decorations and attitude!  You know, shake things up a little!

I've been busy meeting new employers and adding some new classes to my schedule. I've tried to minimize driving (because really, when you think about it, driving around in Silicon Valley is like the "anti-yoga"!).   Though I had to let go of some classes that I really loved, I'm totally excited to see what these changes will bring!  I love meeting new yogis and doing yoga in new spaces so now I've got lots to look forward to.

How about you?  Making any changes this Fall?  Trying some new hobby?  Checking out a new class?  Experimenting with a new healthy recipe?  C'mon, get out there and do something fun!  And if you feel like sharing, please leave a comment!

Namaste Friends!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Yoga Awareness Month AND Talk Like A Pirate Day???? Way too much fun!

OK, so friend, author, illustrator, and yogi, Dana Sullivan has done it again!  He found out that it's not only Yoga Awareness Month, but it's Talk Like A Pirate Day!  Who knew?  So he's been kind enough to let me share his musings today.  And yeah, I'm pretty sure he thinks these things up during Shavasana!  :)

Avast, ye scurvy downward dogs! 'tis both Talk Like A Pirate Day AND Yoga Awareness Month! So instead of stretchin' out on yer mats for planks, try WALKIN' one - at the point of a sword, mayhap. Can't quite do Crow pose? Then haul yer pirate booty up the mast to the Crow's NEST and shiver some timbers there. And don't ferget to buy your yogi a round o' grog today! Namaste, lubbers!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Yoga Quiz #3: What is Pranayama?

Yoga Quiz #3:  What is Pranayama?

A.  Yoga Postures
B.  Breathwork
C.  Meditation
D.  Relaxation


The answer is B!

OK, so there’s a little disagreement about the literal translation of the word, Pranayama.  Some yogis think it is made up of the words Prana, meaning “the fundamental life force” (particularly the breath), and Yama, meaning “to control”.   So Pranayama is channeling or controlling our life force.  Other yogis see the two words that make up Pranayama as Prana (“the fundamental life force") and Ayama, which means “to extend or draw out”.  Which would mean that Pranayama is the practice of extending or drawing out our life force, vital energy, or breath.

Regardless, pretty much all yogis see the practice of Pranayama as breathwork.  You have probably practiced some type of pranayama.  Ever done a Three Part Yogic Breath (Dirga Pranayama)?  Ever practice Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama), Victory Breath (Ujjayi Pranayama), or Buzzing Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)?  If so, you are familiar with Pranayama!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Yoga Quiz #2: What does the word, "Asana" mean in Sanskrit?

Yoga Quiz #2:  What does the word, "Asana" mean in Sanskrit?

A.  Breathwork
B.  Body Posture
C.  Achievement
D.  Meditation


The correct answer is B.  

The word, Asana, means Body Posture.  Originally it meant a seated position (used for meditation), but this has morphed over time to include all variations of yoga asana.   Have you heard the word asana in yoga class?  In class it's usually at the end of Sanskrit words like Tadasana (Mountain Pose/Posture), Vrkshasana (Tree Pose/Posture), and Utkatasana (Chair/Fierce Pose/Posture)...sound familiar?   

What is your favorite yoga asana?

Navasana--Boat Posture/Pose
Utkatasana--Fierce Posture/Pose (AKA Chair Pose)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Yoga Quiz #1: What does the word, "Yoga" mean in Sanskrit?

Design By Dana Sullivan
Question:  What does the word, "Yoga" mean in Sanskrit?

A.  "To Stretch or Reach"
B.  "Flowing"
C.  "To Yoke or Unite"
D.  "Sun and Moon"

     Yoga    YOGA    Yoga    YOGA    Yoga    YOGA    Yoga
Yoga    YOGA    Yoga    YOGA    Yoga    YOGA    Yoga


The correct answer is C.  The word "Yoga" in Sanskrit means "to yoke or unite".  It can also mean "discipline".  

Yoga is a practice that allows us to become balanced and united with our own higher nature.  In the Yoga Sutras (considered by many yogis to be the text that defines yoga), Patanjali wrote, "Yoga chitta vritti nirodha," which means, "Yoga is the cessation of fluctuations or distractions toward evolved consciousness and being".  In other words, yoga helps us to get rid of all the distractions whirling around in our heads so that we can be more in tune with our higher nature and find happiness.  

Some yogis say yoga "yokes" or "unites" our body, mind, spirit, and breath. 

So now we've defined the word, "Yoga" literally, but more importantly, what does Yoga mean to YOU?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Let It Go!

No, I'm not singing the Frozen song (although at the mere mention of it, it's now swirling around in my head). No, I'm actually just trying to convince myself to "let go" of a small annoyance.  You see, I had this long-standing blog with Go Daddy and to make a long story short, it has been taken from me!  I lost all my blog entries...years of advice, instruction, and musings...gone, lost somewhere in cyber space.  So sad.  I was totally bummed.  And angry!  How could they do that?  Just rip away all my hard work like that?    How dare they?  

After my initial sadness and disappointment (which was accompanied by a LOT of whining and complaining), I decided to email my friend, writer, and yogi, Elena Hartwell to ask her advice about finding a new place to share my wisdom and random thoughts.  Elena (being a total ray of light) offered a ton of advice, some great instructions on how to get started, and then wrapped it all up with, "...don't feel bad about losing the GoDaddy blog, your new one will be even better!"  In other words, LET....IT...GO!  Important yogic advice from a dear friend.  

So often we hold on to anger, regret, embarrassment, worry, disappointment, jealousy, and tons of other negative emotions and never let them go. We waste all our energy on those negative thoughts so that there is no room left for the positive ones.  It's like that Buddhist quote, "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone are the one who gets burned".  Not fun.  And pretty painful as well.  It's not just anger either.   Almost any negative emotion can hold us back...the more we hold on to the bad stuff the more harm we cause our own body, mind and spirit.   

So let's give ourselves time to feel those negative emotions when they arise, but after they've been felt, let's let them go!  Bring in the hope, the happiness, the love, the acceptance, the joy, the gratitude and the plethora of other positive emotions so that we can thrive!  

I am officially letting go of my old blog and look forward to creating an exciting new one.  I am forgiving GoDaddy (after all, their website hosting and tech support are totally stellar!) and moving on!   Is there anything you'd like to let go of today?    Give it a try.   LET IT GO!  

Namaste Friends,

In case you now feel like's the Let It Go Disney Sing Along!  ;)  Have fun!