Friday, February 24, 2017

Believe in Yourself!

When you believe in yourself so fiercely that you follow your dreams, not letting anyone or anything lessen your faith in yourself, you can pursue anything without hesitation. You don't let fear hold you back or self-doubt undermine your aspirations. Abhaya Mudra is a hand gesture that represents fearlessness. To form this mudra, lift your right forearm so that your palm faces out. This simple yet powerful gesture symbolizes your fearless commitment to yourself, and invites others to commit to fearlessness as well.

Mary Jane Kasliner

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Yoga Taoist Chakra Training!

Don't miss out on this unique 40 hour Taoist Chakra Training at Tula Yoga in Matawan, NJ. Read more about it and sign up!


Mary Jane Kasliner

Monday, February 20, 2017

Temple Prayer Pose!

Temple prayer pose is a wonderful pose that allows us to tap in to the temple that houses the soul.

1. Face the long edge of your mat and walk your feet out much wider than your hips.
2. Bend your knees, and turn your feet out until your toes face the same direction as your kneecaps. As you inhale, reach your arms up overhead for temple pose.
3. Hold this pose for 10 breaths and as you exhale, step your left foot to meet your right foot in chair pose  with palms together at your chest.
4. You can inhale and repeat temple pose, then exhale back to chair pose.

Mary Jane Kasliner

Friday, February 17, 2017

Marichi - Son of Brahma Pose

This asana, named after the sage Marichi (son of the creator Brahma and grandfather of the Sun of God, Surya), is excellent for the abdominal region as it causes those organs to contract, thereby increasing circulation.


  1. Start in Dandasana, sitting with your legs straight in front of you. You can fold a blanket underneath your hips, or roll half of the yoga mat to bring your hips a bit higher.
  2. Bend your right knee, and bring the heel as close to the sitting bone as feels possible. Your right foot is flat on the ground, and the left foot is straight, left knee and toes are pointing up. Press the heel of the left leg onto the floor to activate the back of the leg.
  3. You can keep a slight internal rotation in the left leg, while the right, bent leg has a slight external rotation. Turn your upper body gently towards the left, so that the right shoulder rotates towards the left leg, and the left shoulder rotates back.
  4. Inhale your right arm up to shoulder level, and turn the thumb down. Exhale, start folding forward, and bring the right arm from outside your bent leg towards the right outer thigh.
  5. Inhale, and with an exhalation bring your left arm behind your back, and take a hold of your wrists or fingers behind your back.
  6. Keeping your back long, and keeping space between your pubic bone and navel, fold more forward. Draw your shoulder blades back towards your hands.
  7. Stay for 3-6 long breaths.
  8. To come out, release the hands first, sit up slowly, straighten the leg and take a few breaths before you repeat on the other side.

Mary Jane Kasliner

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Modify Warrior 1

Warrior 1 can be a tricky pose to find safe alignment. If you feel knee pain in your back leg, or can't keep you back heel down then try supporting your back heel with a bolster, sandbag or block. You can start with a high prop and then gradually reduce the support.
If you have pain in your sacrum, lower back or front knee then elevate your front foot with a block. You can press your front knee against another block at the wall or simply press your knee against the wall. Make sure you press into your back heel while keeping your body weight over your back leg.

Poses represent a process and so it behooves us to slow down and be present. Sense the direction of the pose and just allow it to evolve one breath at a time!

Mary Jane Kasliner

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Breath Awareness!

Ujayi Pranayama or victorious breath is a classic pranayama practice, known for its soft soothing sound quality like breaking ocean waves. This breath has such a calming effect as the vagus nerve is stimulated enhancing a relaxation response. It is the perfect breath-work on your yoga mat.

Alternate nostril breathing or Nadi Shodhana is the practice of alternating between the right and left nostrils as you inhale and exhale. It unblocks and purifies the nadis, which yogis believe are energy passages that carries life force and cosmic energy. This is an exceptionally powerful breath-work that can literally calm the nervous system.

Breath retention or Kumbhaka Pranayama is a full 10 second hold after fully inhaling and then taking one more small sip of air in. Holding the breath helps to increase pressure inside the lungs giving them time to expand so their capacity increases ultimately sending more oxygen throughout the body.

Breath of Fire or Kapalabhati Pranayama is a rapid breathing technique that energizes and activates the sympathetic nervous system. This is a great breath to practice as long as you are not under stress.


When practice yoga remember to inhale when opening and lifting the chest and exhale when bending forward or twisting.

Mary Jane Kasliner

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Wide Legged Forward Fold!

Thompson Park - Saturday Morning Yoga with Mary Jane Kasliner

In this pose your feet should be approximately 3 to 4.5 feet apart. Exhale, maintaining the length of the front torso, lean the torso forward from the hip joints. AS your torso approaches parallel to the floor, press your fingertips to the floor directly beneath your shoulders. You may add a variation as seen above by walking the hands out in front of you. Move your spine evenly into the back torso so that your back is slightly concave form the tailbone to the base of the skull. Push your top thighs straight back and draw the inner groins away from each other.  Take a few breaths here while drawing your shoulders away from your ears. If you are flexible enough you can continue to drawn the crown of the head towards the earth. Remain in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Lift and lengthen the torso and with an inhalation place your hands to your hips and pull your tailbone towards the earth as you swing your torso up.

Mary Jane Kasliner