Thursday, January 28, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

Ever feel the energy is just flowing perfectly during your yoga practice? Today, there was a great flow of prana throughout my practice. Every pose felt light - I love when that happens. Of course, as this is called a practice, it doesn't happen all the time. I find when the qi is flowing nicely it is a good time to attempt more challenging poses. I decided to work on my arm balance - pincha. This is a pose that just feel awkward to me. Once I am up however it does feel great. There is a tendency for people to collapse through the shoulders and the low back. Right now my biggest challenge with this pose is my lumbar spine. I tend to over exaggerate the arch in the lumbar area taking my hips out of alignment while in the pose - not a good thing. Well, as they say...Practice makes perfect - well maybe not perfect. Here are the steps to this challenging arm balance from Yoga Journal. Have fun with it!


Mary Jane

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

Discover the power of prayer. Everyone can benefit from prayer, whether religious or not. In prayer we express our hopes and dreams, as well as acknowledging our blessings. In so doing we both affirm our direction in life, and draw upon the strengths that we need to continue our journey. Your prayer can take any form you choose. Address it to your source of wisdom and strength: this could be your higher self, the universe, or the divine as you understand it.


Off to teach a yoga class now:)

Mary Jane

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

Sometimes certain poses look CRAZY! I for one have seen some interesting poses that I think can't be humanly possible, but then I get out of my own way and just allow the "knowning" body and mind to take over. For example, in this mornings class one of the more challenges poses known as 8 angle pose was presented. If you could have seen the look on some of the yogis faces - priceless! I simply told them to get out of the thinking mind and body and allow the breath to guide the movement of the body - to hug muscle to bone, find the fulcrum and rise. Not everyone achieved the final pose but many went beyond what they ever thought was possible. This is true in life - get out of your own way and just let the "Knowing" take front and center.

If anyone is interested to learn more about 8 angle pose, this is straight from yoga journal...And yes, I am proud to say at the age of 54 I can move into this pose with grace. BREATHE!

Mary Jane

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Monday, January 25, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini - Tight From Sitting & Snow Shoveling?

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

Phew! Was anyone else feeling tight after sitting and snow shoveling all weekend? I know I was. The key word here is "was." First thing this morning I headed out for a hot yoga class, and yes with  my Jeep stuck in low gear - 4 wheel drive. I couldn't go any faster than 25 MPH, but maybe that was a good thing. With over 35 yogis in class, there was a lot of moans and groans. Apparently we all were feeling a bit stiff from sitting around during the massive snow storm that swept most of the east coast. Focus in class today was all about forward folds. Ah, did that feel great. Not to worry, if you were not able to make it to a yoga class you can certainly do forward folds anywhere - including at your desk. If your standing, take a micro-bend in your knees and hinge from your hips leading with your chest and bend forward. Take several breaths and slowly rise back up. If you're sitting you can do the same thing by simply bringing your chest towards your thighs. Forward bends are so relaxing and yet invigorating. Take five and bend forward.

~Mary Jane

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Friday, January 22, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

Ever feel like you're just having too many conversations with yourself? Well, join the human club. "Monkey Mind" is the norm but "Pie in the Sky" Yogini has some advice. Pull up a seat (no pun intended) and see hoe you can tame that monkey.

Meditation - Where to begin:

The best way to begin meditating it to commit to a few minutes a day, preferable in the morning, to sit and just be silent. Your mind will begin to race but just try to acknowledge the thoughts that float in and allow them to pass. It’s helpful to use your breath to move pass these active thoughts. The louder the breath the better, as the sound becomes a mantra for your focus.


Make sure you do whatever it takes to be comfortable in your meditation.  An erect spine and open chest is best for effective meditation.  However, this is easier said than done.  It’s not easy to sit in an erect position without some part of your body beginning to speak up.  Following these simple tips on staying comfortable will go a long way for your meditation practice.

1.       Use props to support your hips, low back, knees or whatever area you need assistance with.

2.       Make sure your hips are at least 3 inches higher than your knees.

3.       Sit in a chair if the floor is too difficult.

4.       Prop your back against a wall to maintain posture.

The important thing here is to do what it takes to be comfortable so your focus is on the breath and meditation rather than an uncomfortable hip, back or knee.  Whatever prop you choose just stick to a routine so you develop a habit for a meditation practice.
Simple Mantra:
Sometimes something as simple as the sound mantra for the breath or "So Hum" can be a very effective meditation technique. Simply repeat the sound of "So" on your inhalation and the sound of "Hum" on your exhalation. Repeat the cycle breath mantra for several minutes to quiet the mind and ease your focus inward.

I suggest using this simple technique to get the meditation process moving forward. Once you have developed a routine there are many other meditation techniques you can delve into. Let's save those for another afternoon with "Pie in the Sky" Yogini.
Happy Meditating & be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

~Mary Jane

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Yogini "Pie in the Sky"

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

Meet "Pie in the Sky" Yogini - a brain child illustrative concept by Ann Curch Gagliano with the voice of Yogini, Mary Jane Kasliner.

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini  represents the inner warrior in all of us - that inner knowing to go for it no matter what.  Each day she talks about how to reach for that proverbial "Pie in the Sky" whether it is a new yoga pose, an old comfortable one, or simply how to tap into your POWER.

Today, she would like to share her secret to approaching any yoga pose, or for that matter, approaching just about anything in life. 

1. Open to grace. Let go of all that "stuff" in your mind.

2. Breathe! Well, that speaks for itself.

3. Lead with your heart. It's amazing how much taller you will feel and look.

4. Smile both inwardly and outwardly.

5. Combine energetic muscular activity with its complementary counterpart - organic energy. In other words, hug in and release out.

6. Be in a state of gratitude no matter where you are in a pose or in life.

7. Accept where you are as it is exactly where you are meant to be.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pose of the Day - Hanumanasana

Hanumanasana - Monkey Pose

This is a pose that can challenge any yogi. However, it is an exhilarating pose to let the body land. Hanumanasana requires flexibility in both the front and back legs. The front leg is about hamstring ease, while the back leg requires openness in the hip flexors. when you find balance between both legs you find balance in the pose.

You can easily support yourself with blocks to ease into the pose - let time be your friend for this pose. Always hug the inner thighs for this pose and press your legs into the floor to help your lift the pelvis and engage the hamstrings. It's a good idea to get the hips and hamstrings working in your practice before attempting this pose. Here are a few poses to sequence before attempting this pose:

  • Virasana - Hero's pose
  • Happy Baby
  • Supta Padagusthasana A & B
  • Double pigeon
  • Down Dog
  • Forward Fold
  • Triangle
  • Standing half moon
  • Wide legged forward fold
  • Pyramid
  • Twisting triangle
  • Lizard
  • Pigeon
  • Hanumanasana - Monkey pose

~Mary Jane

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