On a scale from passive to active....
Holding while the lungs are "empty"
Silent-as-possible Breath (don't disturb nostril hairs!)
Quiet Breath to develop air hunger
Air Hunger Breath with nose pinch
Holding while the lungs are "full"
Observing the breath
Hands-free Nadi Shodana
One-sided Nadi Shodana with hands on ribs
Nadi Shodana with fingers on third eye
Nadi Shodana with fingers folded
Nadi Shodana with thumbs
Librarian Breath (shhhhhhhh!)
Ujaji Breath (Ocean Breath)
Kapalabati Breath (Breath of Fire)
Three part breath (belly - rest, chest - accomplish, shoulders - emergency)
SHE LET GO
She let go.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no...
Today, a student in a corporate chair class that I teach had a question about how he can practice the Sun Salute standing up. This made me realize that it would be great if I could be more clear about how and why I have modified it for Chair Yoga classes.
A while back, I realized that there was a way to modify the venerable Classical Sun Salutation so that it can be done on a chair but that people who wish to practice it standing can do the full version. It takes some repetition and focus to master it, but it works very well.
1 Classical Sun Salutes are performed moving the RIGHT foot first back in to the lunge and then again the RIGHT foot moves forward so that you are lunging on the opposite side.
2. Then you repeat the whole sequence using the LEFT foot first, stepping back with it and stepping forward with it
3. For the seated version it's a bit odd to do this so instead we lift the RIGHT knee first, then the...
On the flip side, your parasympathetic nervous system plays a role in calming your body. For example, escaping from a grizzly bear and returning to your safe, cozy cave signals to the brain that the threat is gone, so the stress responds ends. Now that you’ve resolved the threat, you can return to a state of peace.
But what happens when a stressor doesn’t have a definitive ending...
The focus of today's class will be breath.
No matter how the Covid Crisis plays out, we are all now MUCH more aware of the importance of breath health. I am devoting the first ten or fifteen minutes of our daily chair Yoga session together to breathwork. The intention of this work is to educate. It's great and useful to practice breathwork together in Yoga class to be sure. But what truly brings improvement is CONSISTENT practice. So i urge you to practice the skills that you are learning in class everyday at other moments throughout your day, particularly as you are falling asleep. Another incredibly effective way to learn and embody these practices is to teach it to your loved ones! This way you get double the benefit: they learn lifesaving techniques and your practice deepens! Have you ever heard the quote:" one teaches, two learn"? Try it to verify its effectiveness.
So far we have practiced Astronaut Breath, Box Breath and Equal Breath. Today we...
Excellent vagal nerve health function is critical for optimal health. Tons of emerging research suggests that many chronic disease states (including stress) diminish its ability to work well. Here are some techniques that may help.
(This is not intended to be medical advice. Please see a doctor for a diagnosis if you are having Vagus Nerve symptoms).
1. Cold exposure. Contrast showers are the easiest way in. Full cold plunges take some working up to!
2. Singing or Chanting - Ohming works for this. As does singing in the shower. Singing in a choir or with groups of people gives the most benefit.
3. Yoga - Several small studies link Yoga with increased Vagus nerve tone and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activity in general.
4. Meditation - Studies suggest that loving-kindness meditation, mindfulness meditation and Ohm changing increase Heart Rate Variability (HRV) which is linked to good Vagal tone.
5. Positive Thoughts...
As part one of an upcoming series on Nervous System Health, here is a list of studios, days, times and teachers of Restorative Yoga classes here in Vancouver.
They are still pretty rare and it's important to plan for your health - this list will help!
(I have learned recently (from Elena Brower) to plan for health first, before anything else, in your week. Take a look at this list, mark down in your calendar which ones you plan to do and then please, please prioritize the health of your nervous system!)
I teach a Restorative Yoga class on Sunday nights from 8 to 9:20 at Unity Yoga & Teahouse. My class has a focus on Myofascial Self-Release & Nervous System Health. At Just Yoga from 7: 15 to 8: 30, Jennifer Wilds teaches a Resto class with a Yoga Nidra! There is a Restorative class at the Hot Box at UBC from 4 to 5:15 - this will be a warm class, yum....they don't call it Restorative, though, they call...
Lucky you! A Yoga Retreat is in your future. You know EXACTLY what to put in your bag to make your weekly class a success, but what do you bring with you now that you're leveling up? Retreats create a sense of community like nothing else, and they are unrivalled opportunities to deepen your practice, eat right, unplug and return to real life a better version of you. What you bring with you (and what you don't!) can make a world of difference in your experience.
After many years running Yoga Retreats all over the world, here is a checklist of the bare necessities:
1. Yoga Mat: Check in with the facility to see if they provide mats. But even if they do, it's wonderful to have your own mat that you can turn into your sanctuary in the studio. Manduka makes my favourite travel mat (and my favourite home practice mat, for that matter!)
2. Yoga Pants: Depending on the weather at your destination, and the style of Yoga you will be practicing, these can be full length, capri or...