Monday, August 22, 2016

Creating a Sacred Space ~

It’s pretty incredible how our environment affects us. But I think most of us do feel better when our house or office is clean and organized.
This is particularly true for where we choose to not only spend our time working, but doing nothing. That is to say meditating. Everywhere I have lived, no matter how little space I had, I set aside a space specifically for meditation. Bare in mind, the best portent for meditation is the northeast. When we set a a specific area for quietude, it reminds us not only to meditate, but it inspires us to create a safe place of peace in an often chaotic world.
Perhaps the main reason to create a sacred space is that it trains our mind to go into a new state when we enter our meditation room. It helps to break us out of our daily patterns. Studies show that over 90 percent of what we do each day is unconscious. The good news is that taking just 15 minutes a day to practice being more conscious can make a huge difference in our lives.

So how do you get started?
1. Find the area in your environment where you can set up your meditation cushion. If you are lucky enough to have an entire room, good for you. However, even the smallest of areas will do.
2. Add fire and earth elements: These are perfect elements for harmony especially in the northeast direction for the entire home or the northeast direction within a room. So what constitutes fire and earth elements? For the purpose of meditation, I would stick with candles and incense (fire), and perhaps a spiritual image. For earth elements, I would stick with your favorite stones, especially ones that are know to ground such as black tourmaline or Brazilian quartz.
3. Now, just DO IT! Make the effort to take time out of your busy day and sit quietly. You'll be amazed how productive you can be when your mind gets quiet!

~Mary Jane

Friday, August 12, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini Says... Salamba Baddha Konasana

This is such a relaxing way to release tension from the hips, inner thighs and lower back. Salamba Baddha Konasana (supported reclining bound angle pose). Find two bolsters or a folded blanket. Lie down and bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet together. Slide a bolster or blanket under each leg to support the knees, shins, and feet. Rest with your hands on your lower belly and place your elbows on the ground. Stay here with eyes closed for at least 5 minutes.

Om - Mary Jane -

Monday, August 1, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Revolved Half Moon

Revolved half moon is an excellent pose to tone the abdominal muscles while it strengthens the ankles, knees and thighs. Here are some simple steps to entering and finding the pose:

  • Start in a lunge position with left foot forward and right leg straight.
  • Inhale and lift up to balancing on your right leg and fingertips of both hands.
  • Bring right hand to your hip, inhale and shrug your right shoulder to your right ear and roll it back twisting to open your chest to the right.
  • Extend your right arm directly above your right shoulder.
  • Exhale and extend from your pelvis and through your feet. Inhale and extend your lower belly up through your head and through your arms.
  • Hold for several breaths then look down and place both hands on the floor. Exhale and lower your right leg down. 
  • Place your hands on your hips, root through your feet to the floor, inhale and come up to standing.
  • Repeat other side.

Om - Mary Jane -

Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini Says: Cow Face Pose with Eagle Arms!

You certainly can reach for that pied in the sky with gomukhasana - garudasana arms. I love this pose especially if you are looking to stretch the side of your hips and upper back. Here are the simple steps:

  • Come to tabletop position
  • Slide your right knee until both knees (inner edges touch) and both are still on the ground
  • Wrap your left leg around and atop your right leg so your knees line up
  • Slide your feet away from each other slightly wider than your hips.
  • Bring your arms in front of you - bent to 90 degrees
  • Swing your left arm beneath the right and spiral your right hand and forearm around the left until your hands touch in eagle arms
  • Hold for 10 breaths and repeat opposite side


Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Touch the Eternal!

Last week I took a yoga class on the beach. As I was flowing through my sun salutation I decided to pause and gaze out into the ocean. The water was calm and the sky was a magnificent pallet of colors ranging from pink to purple and to orange. It was something to behold. Nature is a way of reminding us of eternity. Sometimes, we zoom in on the details of our lives and all we can see is the small picture - the problems, issues and specifics of what we need to do today. These moments are real. They are the heart of our lives. It is good to stay focused and attend to them, but sometimes we need to step back and see the big picture, too.

Visit places that remind you of eternity when you can. See the mountains. See the stars. Walk among the ancient redwoods. Stand at the ocean's door. Let nature and life remind you of eternity in ways that speak to your soul.


Mary Jane -

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Open Those Shoulders!

Shoulder opening yoga poses can benefit all people, especially those with chronic back and neck problems, or those who spend a lot of time each day sitting at a desk. Poor posture while sitting at a desk, table, or even while driving a car is very common and causes unfortunate physical side effects.

There are many poses in yoga that can open the shoulders and improve posture such as mountain pose, bridge, wheel, bow, and down-dog. Pay attention to your posture and know there is always room for improvement.

Here are my Wednesday morning yogis doing their thing to slowly awaken their shoulders.

Wednesday Mornings - Yoga on the Deck!: 9:30-10:45 AM - Thompson Park, Lincroft, NJ - 
Contact Allison: 732-740-4103

First Session: June 15 – July 20th
Second Session: July 27th – August 31st.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Shoulders!!!

Yikes! We know as fellow yogis the shoulders can take a beating in our practice. So what to do? Here are a few tips to keep the shoulders strong and keep you happy in your practice.

  • Your shoulders must stay down and back so you can maintain the best range of motion in your shoulders, back, neck and arms.
  • The key is to activate the shoulders by externally rotating your shoulders. This will allow you to seat your shoulder blades down and back and away from your ears.
  • Avoid the "hunch" whether you are driving in a car, sitting at your desk or shooting one arm up in triangle pose.
Here's too happy shoulders!