Welcome to Yogi Sticks!

Do you know your Gomukasana from your Adho Mukha Svanasana? Is your Vrksasana all it can be? And how do you feel about Supta Baddha Konasana? Do you know what I'm even talking about?

Sometimes the Sanskrit - however beautiful it sounds - is not very helpful. So, to encourage my students to expand their yoga practice into their home, I sketch the poses we practice during class on a chart and add the Sanskrit and common name. Hopefully, this is a useful tool to help them along in their yogic journey. I also troll the internet, books, and journals to find interesting articles about yoga and the yogic lifestyle.

21 Day Challenge

Yoga Journal is sponsoring a "21 Day Challenge" to encourage a home yoga practice. Their website has three weeks of yoga videos, motivational tips, recipes and more. Check it out at www.yogajournal.com/21daychallenge

A Mudra Minute

We've all used a mudra during our yoga practice, usually the "prayer" mudra at the end of class when we bow and share our "Namaste".  We also use the Wisdom Seal, or Jnana mudra (the "OK" symbol) during our "om" or even within some poses. 
Jnana mudra
Did you know that each finger has its own meaning and power, and that by bringing that finger to the thumb, a new mudra is created. Here is a list of your fingers and their symbols:
Thumb: represents the Universe or the Great Self, called "Parama-atman"
Index: represents the embodied self, called "Jiva-atman"
Middle: represents energy, called "Rajas"
Ring: represents inertia, called "Tamas"
Pinky: represents luminosity or benigness, called "sativa"

When creating the Jnana mudra, by keeping palms up, we calm our brain and soften our shoulders. If you keep palms down, our hearts open and our brains our stimulated.

For more information, check out: http://www.indotalisman.com/whtrmdra.html

3-21 Waist and Obliques and 3-23 Spinal Twists

 Wednesday night we worked through many twist variations trying to use the entire length of our spines, from tailbone to neck. This included reclined, seated, and standing twists - such a wonderful way to wring out the day!

Quote: "Only that day dawns to which we are awake." -Henry David Thoreau

Monday night this week I wrote a class based on our side bodies - the abdominal obliques. I think the practice is way more fun than old school sit-ups and crunches! Plus, it works the entire body, not just the abs.
 Tonight's quote was, "Your big opportunity might be right where you are now." -Napoleon Hill

Downtown Market

I'll be in Ulmer Park tomorrow morning (about 9-12) sharing yoga at Largo's "Spring Into Health".

Yoga 4 All will have a table with literature and at least one therapist offering chair massages. Ulmer Park is at 301 West Bay in Largo.

See you there!

Tiny Buddha

In my attempt to avoid housework this morning, I stumbled upon this lovely blog called Tiny Buddha. It is chock-full of thoughts, inspiration, curiosity, and joy.

Indian Shores

On Tuesday and Thursday this week (3/8 and 3/10), I will be teaching in the Indian Shores Community Center next door to Salt Rock Grill from 9 to 10:15. Only $6 - and the beach is across the street, if you like that sort of thing (and I think you do!)

2-28 Wide Angles and 3-2 From the Center

The practice tonight dealt with our center, namely the uddiyana bandha (our abdominal lock). There are three interior "locks" used in an asana and pranayam practice to control the flow of energy - mula bandha (pelvic lock), uddiyana bandha (abdominal lock), and jhalandara bandha (throat lock). The uddiyana bandha massages, cleans, and tones the abdominal organs. You can activate it by simply taking a false inhale (move the abdomen in and up without actually taking in any breath). It's like you are pulling your belling up and into your ribcage. While it can be used as an "exercise" in itself, it is also used to activate the core to protect the back and aid in balance.

Tonight's quote was from William Jennings Bryan: "Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."

Monday's class was a fairly straight-forward practice in wide-angles: seated, reclined, standing, legs, arms, twists,boat. A yoga hodge-podge, if you will.

Quote: "I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to a fellow being, let me do it now, and do not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." -William Penn

Yoga and Body Image

I'm currently reading, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" and stumbled across this article. I love the quote at the end, "We are not just defined by the mirror on the wall".