Thursday, February 25, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini - Journey Through the Chakras

The chakras are a doorway into divine source and knowing we are that source. We all have the key to chakra doors, it is just a matter of unlocking them and stepping through. When we walk through the door there is an unending path that takes on on a journey. Along the way we realize everything is a continuum – many microcosms to the greater macrocosm. We see this through the constant ebb and flow of energy since the dawn of time. The Taoist philosophy reveals out of the wuji, or the great void is born the tai chi – one yang bit and one yin bit. These two interdependent polarities drive the forces of the Universe (macrocosm) and the forces of the human body (microcosm). These interdependent forces follow the rules of binary math – whereby 1 representing yang or God source creates all things out of nothing (0) or yin.
The crown chakra is all knowing – all potential from heavenly father. It is the natural electricity from the stars that act as one half of the electromagnetic field that binds all atoms for life to ensue. It is the manifestation (Sheva) into being of the earthly realm (Root - Shakti). It is the material aspects – the yin force or Mother Earth. It is through the magnetism from Her spinning on a rotational axis (can be likened to the spine with rotating ida and pingala), that forms the other half of the electromagnetic field equation essential for life to exist. That which is above (Father – God Source – Yang ) is received below ( Mother – Matter – Yin). Mother is receptive to what is thrusted upon her. Likewise, She releases energy upwards back to Father source and the cosmos. One cannot exist without the other (Sheva and Shakti).
The root chakra is our physical body experience of our spiritual essence. It must learn how to become spirit again through the chakra journey. Innately we know the way and when we take the path all aligns - a child-like connection to divine source. We welcome the dance of life with open arms and connect with the movement of all things in the universe. We become one transforming our relations with self and others - the inner warrior shines brightly like the sun. Love streams out in all directions and we realize nothing is more powerful than love. We ask and we receive with grace - things simply manifest. We intuitively know our essence and the essence of all beings. This is the gift of God-source and a reawakening of coming home.

Mary Jane

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Standing Half Moon

Open the space of your heart, mind and spirit and rise into the cosmos with standing half moon pose. This is such an inspiring pose that awakens your entire being. Click here and follow these simple steps to enter this pose!

Om Shanti!

Illustration: Ann Curch Gagliano

Monday, February 22, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini - Have Patience with this Pose!

Visvamitrasana is quite the pose and definitely requires patience to move in to. It is a beautiful pose to see and a wonderful pose to attempt. I thought I would share a link that does an excellent job discussing the best ways to approach this pose. One thing to remember, it's not about landing the pose but rather discovering yourself in the process. Have fun with this and be patient!

Om Shant~
Mary Jane

Illustrator: Ann Curch Gagliano

Thursday, February 18, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Lock it up!

One the most powerful locks to contain energy and structure for the abdomen is Uddiyanabandha. This lock is located at the abdomen, and when engaged, the abdominal wall moves back toward the spine and upward. This seals the prana on the sides of the body and controls the volume of energy within the body. It especially is powerful for structural support of the body in standing poses. It helps to prevent disc injuries in yoga practice. So if you are looking to maintain power, especially in your standing poses, engage Uddiyanabandha lock!

~Mary Jane
Illustrator: Ann Curch Gagliano

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini - Peel Back the Layers!

The koshas are the many facets or layers of a human being. The ancient spiritual practice of Vedanta, uses the koshas to uncover the divine self. Practicing different yoga postures (asanas) helps to create a balance in each of the five layers (koshas) and leads to self knowledge. The layers work from the outer most level (Annamayakosha) to the inner most layer (Anandamyakosha) and represent different areas of the human body.

1. Annamayakosha - This layer represents the physical body and the five elements defined in Ayurvedic medicine (earth, water, fire, air, and space). Different yoga postures directly balance this level of the body.
2. Pranamyakosha - This is the energy body and includes the subtle energy vortexes or wheels known as the chakras and the Prana Vayus or main energy currents of the body. It is the breath, how we take it in and how well it nourishes the organ systems. When prana is blocked or stagnant, disease can occur. Yoga postures open up the energy body and restores balance.
3. Manomayakosha - This layer represents our emotional responses. It includes the fight or flight response, survival, reproduction, social roles and personality. This kosha relates to our psycho-emotional health. The Manomayakosha is easily thrown out of balance by stress and can result in physical and mental illness. Yoga practice is an excellent way to de-stress and relax the body and mind bringing this kosha back into alignment.
4. Vjnyanamayakosha - This layer corresponds to our wisdom, intuition and insight. Becoming a witness to how we live and doing away with patterns that are physically or emotionally destructive is necessary for the development of our higher self. Yoga postures help to calm the mind and is essential for the wisdom body.
5. Anandamayakosha - This is the true self or bliss body. The nature of this self is inner directness, stillness and contentment. This level is experienced momentarily but it gives us a clearer understanding of our true nature. All yoga practice is a catalyst for this level of awareness.
Mary Jane

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Happiness

Eleanore Roosevelt once said: " Happiness is not a goal; it's a byproduct of a life well-lived." So, What are you doing to live a good life? If you are having a tough time answering this question perhaps you should take a time out, sit in meditation, and see what comes to you. Before meditating however, it is best to unwind the body so the mind doesn't go crazy thinking about how stiff you feel. Take a 20 minute yoga break and then forge ahead for your meditation session. I am sure you will come out the other end enlightened.

Mary Jane
Illustration: Ann Curch Gagliano

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini - Foods Not to Eat Before Yoga

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini - Foods Not to Eat Before Yoga

So this is always an interesting topic - What to eat before a yoga class. I know for certain I need to eat something before my yoga practice or I will fade fast. Interestingly enough, I found I was eating the wrong foods prior to my yoga class. I came across this excellent article and would like to share it with you from Elephant Journal.

Here's to enjoying the RIGHT foods before your yoga class!

Mary Jane

Monday, February 8, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini... Confidence in thoughts and words!

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini... Confidence in thoughts and words!

How confident are you in your thoughts, actions and words? Do you feel as though you have to watch what you say to certain people or feel dejected if someone says something about you? Don't feel bad if the answer to these questions are a resounding yes. Most of us are not firmly rooted and confident in our actions and words. By and large, this happens as a way of programming. I can guarantee someone during your informative years preached the words; "Be careful what you say otherwise people won't like you." Sound familiar? So how do we get past this 'tip-toe' through the proverbial tulips. For one, we need to understand what energy centers can catapult us into a stable point when it comes sharing our thoughts confidently.

The throat chakra is formally know as the center of purification. In Sanskrit the word for this purification center is Visuddha. It is a point that can successfully resonate with the vibrational energy of the word "Truth." When we engage with our own truth it can be very liberating. When you can own your words you gain full perspective of the truth. If not, then you are not living your word but rather wearing it as a garment. Garments have a funny way of going out of style or simply fading from true form.

One of the easiest ways to activate the throat center is to delve deeper into who You are and the language that defines you. You can do this many ways including; writing intentions about the perfect you, a walking meditation, or simply wafting some eucalyptus oil during a seated meditation.
Once you discover the true language about you, it is time to root it into your being. This is where the root chakra embeds into the throat. You begin to find your beliefs and words become a strong anchor. You no longer worry about hurting others feelings and you don't take things to heart. You find freedom in exploring what you hear and what you speak. There is a confidence that is unbreakable, as the very fabric of your being is woven into the fabric of the universe.

Suggested Yoga Poses:

Three Powerful Throat Openers:
1. Camel Pose: In this pose the heart and throat immediately open so prana (energy) can circulate more readily. Hold this pose for several breaths.
2. Bow: This pose allows the throat to cast forward in opening. Hold for several breaths.

3. Fish: Rise the throat towards the heavens. Hold for several breaths.

Here's to owning your words!

~Mary Jane

Friday, February 5, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini - Works Matters

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini - Work Matters

Okay, so maybe we all can't do yoga for a living but being happy at work does matter. Here are a few quick tips on how you can be happy at work.

1. Mindfully set expectations of what your job means to you.

2. Set a daily intention, and reshape it every day.

3. Pay attention fully to whatever is in front of you.

4. Emphasize the importance of compassion, connection, and communication.

5. Have a sense of gratitude in all that you do.

Time to get back to work!

Om Shanti~
Mary Jane

Thursday, February 4, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

The breath is our life force. We cannot live without it. It regulates our body, circulating that which is stagnant. We need not be a practitioner of yoga to find a moment of quiet—a savasana—to lie in stillness and focus on nothing but our breath. That deep ujjayi breath—or victorious breath—is an important tool to remind us of the vital force that flows through our body, rather than getting lost in the chaotic informational flow of technology that surrounds us wherever we go. So, breathe in and breathe out and honor the breath!


Mary Jane

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

I love this quote in Elephant Journal today and so I thought I would share it with you:

"Be genuine. Offer your present moment and don't try to get away from it, even if it's challenging... instead, make friends and relax with that."

More than not we tend to leap ahead or crawl behind instead of remaining in the here and now. Today, try to move from moment to moment instead of racing against the clock and just notice the difference in your day.

Here's another great article I found for a simple morning yoga practice.


Om Shanti~Mary Jane

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

Let Peace In

Allow Peace to Lead The 

How can we allow peace into our lives and bring it into the lives of others? The easiest way to do this in my opinion is through a daily meditation practice. Easier said then done, as to quiet the mind for even a few seconds is challenging let alone for the recommended 30 minutes. So why even do it? Meditation is not only a healthy practice but an access point to our higher self - referred many times to the 3rd eye or point between the brow. Here we can access guidance from our spirit guides and tap into a realm of peace and quietude that can transform our day-to-day activities.  Sounds like a worthwhile practice to me.

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.

3rd Eye Mandala:

The mandala or sacred image of the 3rd eye in my intuitive opinion appears to convey the 
fire of heaven that pulls us deep into our very being. The easiest way is straight in – no detours just move into higher being.  As you do so there is a windfall of blessings that funnels into the physical plane of being. Widen the web of illusion with truth. Listen with big ears and see with big eyes.
 All potential and all knowing (OM), come from the web behind the veil of illusion. Allow the wheel to keep turning one spoke at a time – for this is the way we come and we go.
This is my interpretation of the third eye. It has a natural and powerful way to help us perceive and command things in this material world through the path of the heavenly world. The path is crystal clear that opens the door to peace. We can walk in and trust our intuition, know right timing so as to limit the amount of self induced stress and suffering that undoubtedly leads to inner and outer chaos. Let go of the illusions and tap into the source of peace available for us at any time and at any turn.

~Mary Jane

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini

Visualize a golden thread between the top of your head and the heavens. Think of it tightening and lifting you up, making your spine straight, your shoulders lower and your rib-cage expand freely. Tap into the breath body and set the intention to speak up for your beliefs, however unpopular you feel they may be, it's good to get into the habit of small-scale risk taking. It's essential to our growth and our ability to handle difficult situations. On the other side of risk is quiet satisfaction that we have defeated our biggest enemy - our fear!

Om Shanti!
~ Mary Jane

Simple Ways to Shed the Old

Letting go of the old can be hurtful. It's like claws leaving a mark on your skin. It's real easy to put those old habits on...