Sunday, December 4, 2016

Open Your Heart & Stay Grounded!

Day four begins with opening your heart while remaining grounded. Your heart and chest space is where you give and receive love. The following poses are perfect to open your heart and connect to the earth.

1. Cat- Cow with flipped wrists: Move into tabletop position and turn your palms laterally so your fingertips point to the sides of your mat. Ground your palms and spin your fingers so they face your knees. This is fantastic in opening your wrist joints. Do at least 6 rounds of cat-cow with opening wrist position.

2. Shoulder Stretch: There are many different yoga poses that stretch your shoulders. Thread the needle, cow-face or simply reverse namaste hands, are all great ways to open your shoulders. Hold for 3-5 breaths in either of the aforementioned poses.

3. Bridge Pose: This is a wonderful pose to open the heart space. Work with the breath and flow into bridge, hold for 5 breaths and release. Repeat this flow 5 times.

4. Meditate: Place a rolled blanket across the top third of your mat; lie face up on the roll so that it supports the bottom edge of your shoulder blades, Let your heart expand open and open your arms out to the side resting on the floor. Remain in this reclining meditation pose for several minutes.

Mary Jane Kasliner

Friday, December 2, 2016

Day 3 - Clarity!

                                                                 Cinque Terra, Italy
                                                        Photo by : Mary Jane Kasliner 

It's very easy to lose focus with all the multi-tasking that goes on today. Today, is about opening your hips, hamstrings and side body.

1. Janu Sirsasana - Head to Knee pose. You want to spend a good 2 to 3 minutes in this pose before moving to the opposite side. Make sure you ground the inner groins and lengthen the side body and central channel before folding over the extended leg.

2. Parsvottanasana - Pyramid Pose. In this pose make certain your sits bones reach high so you can keep the hips squared. The tendency is for the opposite hip of straight leg to open up.  Hold this pose for several breaths then step back to down dog and repeat opposite side.

3. Utthita Parsvakonsana - Extended side angle. It's important in this pose to engage muscle to bone towards the mid-line. Let the torso twist and the neck lengthen to gaze skyward. Keep the front leg (knee over ankle) and imagine a string extending from the outer knee to outer hip pulling backward for good alignment.

4. Pigeon Pose: From down dog move into this hip opening pose. Make sure you root down through the back toes as you walk your hands forward  and let the gaze follow. Keep the hips squared and breath into the hip meridian for 5 to 10 breaths before moving to the opposite side.

5. Meditate: Take a comfortable seat on the ground, chair or sofa, with or without your back supported. Set your timer for 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes , close your eyes and settle into your breath.

Here's to day 3 finding clarity! 

Mary Jane

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Revving Up your Inner Engines!

'When health is absent, wisdom cannot be reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied." -Herophilus

What if your body came with an owner's manual? What do you think it would include? Arguably, topics such as ideal weight, proper diet, exercise and sleep would be in the table of contents. Albeit important topics when it comes to health, something tells me that if we delve deeper we might find a section that moves beyond the physical. This section of the manual might look something like this:

  • Look at your whole being rather than just your palpable being
  • Acknowledge your thoughts and emotions
  • Understand your purpose in life
  • Create a relationship with Higher Power
Obviously this section sounds very different from the first perspective as the role and chieftain is higher self. When referencing this manual it requires you to expand your focus beyond the physical and tune into the subtle energy body. This is the body that determines how healthy we really are.

Continue reading this chapter in my book: Journey to Health: Living Well from the Inside Out, co-authored with seven other like-minded individuals.

The Wisdom Buffet Writers

Day 2 Get Grounded: Connecting to Your Core!

Day 2 in getting grounded the focus is your core. When the core is strong, it will help you feel steady physically and energetically. This makes it easier to feel centered when things get chaotic. The following are some poses that focus on the core.

*Begin in downward facing dog to warm up and stretch your limbs and muscles. As you move through the following asanas focus on breathing through the belly.

1. Warrior 3 - You can progress into this pose from Down dog. You have the option to remain supported in this pose with your hands down on the earth or a prop, or for the full expression lifting your arms off the ground. Remain in this pose for 3 breaths and repeat opposite side.

2. Triangle Pose - From Down dog progress into triangle pose. Concentrate on breathing into your arm extending towards the heavens and exhaling your navel back back to your spine to twist the heart space open, gazing towards the sky. Hold for 3 breaths and repeat opposite side.

3. Flying Side Angle Pose: From Down dog progress into this pose . Make sure you place the back heel down toward 45 degree angle, then stack your armpit over your knee. You have an option to lift your fingertips off the earth and literally "fly" in the pose. After 5 breaths return to Down dog and repeat opposite side.

4. Plank Pose: From Down dog inhale to plank, then exhale navel to spine, seat high back into down dog.  Repeat this sequence (inhale to plank exhale to down dog) at least 5 times.

5. Meditate: Come to a comfortable cross-legged seat. Bring your arms up to 60 degrees and fold your fingers into your palms, point your thumbs up and angle them slightly toward one another. Sit for 3 to 10 minutes, feeling a sense of joy. If your arms get tired rest them on your lap.

 A nice way to end your meditation is to chant the sounds of the chakras: Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, Om, Om!

Mary Jane Kasliner

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Get Grounded!

This is the time of year when things tend to get a bit hectic; albeit no matter what the season things tend to move at a rapid pace anyway. For the next 5 days try the following routine. In this post I cover day 1, so stay tuned in for what's to come!

Day 1:

  •  First thing in the morning massage your feet. It is a good way to ground, center and remember ourselves. You can do this by sitting on your yoga mat, the floor, chair or couch. Massage each foot for 5 complete breaths.
  • Move into downward facing dog pose. This opens the entire back of the body and helps recirculate energy through the system. Take 3 to 5 long, deep breaths. Feel free to bend your knees in this pose to ease into the hamstrings.
  • Next, move into standing forward fold. Keep your knees also bent in this pose while you reach your sits bones high.
  • Legs up a wall pose. Find a clear space at a wall or against a chair or sofa and shimmy your seat close, and rest your legs up the wall or on the chair or sofa. Set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes and breathe normally.
  • Sit in meditation for 5-10 or 20 minutes.

Starting your day with the aforementioned will ground and center you so you can handle anything that comes your way.

Mary Jane Kasliner

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

December 2016 Forecast: Feng Shui & Yoga!

December 2016

New Beginnings

The focus for this month is new beginnings. You may be asking yourself; "how do I go about starting something new?" In my opinion, it requires meditation and contemplation to uncover what is stagnant in your life to catapult change.

The first step is to differentiate between meditation and contemplation. Meditation is a human mode of moving within to find a peaceful state of mind. Contemplation is divinely infused peace. If we were to associate an image to the various stages of meditation it would be water. Why? Think of how you grow plants from seeds. In addition to healthy soil and sunlight, plants requires water. It is this element that fuels growth in nature, the human body, mind and spirit. It is the daily watering or nurturing of our spirit by way of meditation and contemplation where the  answers that lie within are revealed to us.

In feng shui, the element of water fuels the growth of wood. Wood represents growth, new ideas, family roots, our desires and fortunate blessings. The aforementioned characteristics all play a part in starting something new. To cultivate water it requires going deep within the earth where the water tables fill to feed the shoots of growth. Man must do the same to cultivate growth; move deep within.

Tips to Catapult Change:

The environment acts as the macrocosm to YOU. Therefore, by implementing subtle changes in your surroundings you can start the energy moving in the direction of change or new beginnings.

  • In the east portent of your home activate strong wood by way of a well rooted plant. Add moving water in this same portent to fuel growth. This month is especially important to add moving water as it will activate inner wisdom and growth of material blessings in the form of finances.
  • In the southeast place a strong image of your desire of change or what you would like to enter your life as blessings. You can also place an intention along with this image.
  • In the south connect to your soul's mission by way of a vision board or image of where you want to be in life, what makes your heart sing, what you LOVE to do if money wasn't an issue.

Tips to Meditation & Contemplation:

Whatever you do in the outer world you need to complement it in the inner world. The following are a few tips to get you started.

  • Activate the northeast sector of your home with plenty of earth and fire elements. If you are not sure what those are refer to my my feng shui mini-series or feng shui design cd.
  • Get a meditation cushion and place it in a convenient area that you can see on a daily basis as a reminder to sit and meditate.
  • Download some relaxing music or guided meditation CD's. Play them often especially if you need assistance when meditating.
  • Read inspiring quotes on a daily basis 
  • Engage in repeated prayer or daily mantra

Tips to Opening Life Journey Sector:

In feng shui practice, the portent direction corresponding to life journey is north. The following are simple guidelines in activating this sector. For more tips see my feng shui design cd. Be sure to scroll down my publications page to find the cd.

  • Incorporate metal and water elements in the north sector of your home
  • Add images that are powerful or imposing structures such as a bridge or building
  • Add images of water scenes or fabrics that are flowing or movement in design
  • Choose an the image that compliments the south portent or your soul's mission as these two portents (south and north) work in synergy.
Yoga Practice:

Yoga  automatically moves you into a state of peace through the inward journey. This bodes especially well for the trigram Kan that is active in December. The Rat is also active this month so yoga and meditation will be extremely important as the rat tends to create a busy mind.  Concentrate on poses that activate the 1st,  3rd, 6th and 7th chakras. Feeling grounded, finding inner strength, tapping into your intuition and divine inspiration are all essential components for new beginnings. Here are some poses to activate the aforementioned chakras.

1st or Root Chakra: Warrior 1 or Warrior 2

                                                        Me:  Japanese Gardens Oregon

                                                          Me: Meditation Garden Oregon

3rd or Solar Chakra: Half Lord of the Fishes

6th or third Eye Chakra: Padmasana

                                                            My Daughter in Vietnam

                                                            Me: Arizona Airport

7th or Crown Chakra: Headstand

This month and every month feel the internal flow of prana and expand with it. Explore new beginnings and enjoy the journey!

Happy December!

Mary Jane Kasliner

Monday, November 28, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Revolved Triangle!

Revolved triangle can be a challenging pose. The key is to engage the locks so you can create avenues of length from the sacrum to the top of the head. It is so important to lengthen the spine in a spiraling motion from the sacrum through the top of the head. This can be achieved by squaring the hips and then extending through both sides of the torso evenly. Distribute the weight evenly through both feet and broaden the shoulder while pressing the hand firmly either to a block or the floor. Take the energy across the shoulders and shoot it out of the fingertips of the upward extended hand. Work through the base of the big toes and squeeze the inner thighs.

Mary Jane Kasliner