Friday, May 27, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Tight Hamstrings!

Tight hamstrings in those forward folds? Seems like everyone has something to moan about when it comes to forward folds. But is it really your hamstrings or is it scarred fascia? Here are a few tips in getting those hamstrings "unstuck!"

  • Try sitting in staff pose (dandasana) with a 1/2 rolled yoga mat beneath your knees. Press you feet against a wall and align your middle toes pointing upward with feet hip distance apart.
  • Elongate the spine and gently curve your lower back towards your belly.
  • Take the weight into your hands and track your knees carefully - hold for several minutes.
  • Next, stand and come to 1/2 forward fold (ardha uttanasana) with hands on blocks and create a right angle between your spine and thighbones.
  • Track the weight to your feet and hold for 2 minutes. Make sure your feet are well rooted so you don't feel pulling sensation in the buttock.
  • You can practice going further in your forward folds once you have practiced the aforementioned points.

~Mary Jane

Monday, May 16, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Ego Eradicator

This is such a great pose to help move from the ego state of mind. Sit in easy pose (sukasana) and apply chin lock (Jalandhara Bandha). Curl your fingertips onto the pads of the palms, with thumbs stretched back and aimed at each other above the head. Begin breath of fire. This is a rhythmic, continuous breath through the nostrils in which on each exhale you pull the navel point back and upward; breathe at roughly 40 - 60 breaths per minute. To end, take a big inhale, suspend the breath and touch your thumbs together above your head. Exhale and release your arms down and touch your fingertips to the ground.

Mary Jane

Friday, May 13, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: So True!

I love this quote - so true!

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.

If you are anxious you are living in the future.

If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

~ Lao Tzu

~<Mary Jane

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"Pie in the Sky' Yogini: Supported Virasana (Hero Pose)

Virasana or hero's pose is wonderful to support with a block between your heels so the short edges of the block center on your ankles. Sit back and press the tops of your feet and toenails evenly into the ground. Inhale and lengthen the crown of your head upwards. Make sure the block evenly supports both sitting bones. Place your hands on your thighs or over your belly as you roll your shoulder heads back. Begin to cultivate the breath - the victorious breath (Ujjayi) by sweeping the breath along the back of your throat. Enjoy this asana with each breath and expand through the heart.

Omm - Mary Jane


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Matsyasana - Fish Pose

Matsyasana or fish pose is an excellent shoulder and chest opener. It's fantastic if you are experiencing a tight middle back. It also stretches the neck and thyroid and offers a balance of opening without grasping, and relaxing without collapsing.

One of the most important things to remember, in terms of alignment, is not to let the feet flop out or collapse through the shoulders. You can avoid those pitfalls if you keep your legs active, hug muscle to bone, while flexing though the feet. In addition, allow the arms to extend by your sides and keep elbows lifted off the floor by walking your fingers towards your feet until your arms are straight. Place your focus on the sensation of your breath and relax.

~Mary Jane


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Spring Clean Your Inner Life!

Ways to Spring Clean our Inner Lives:

1. Make time for mindful living.
Take time for a daily walk. Instead of going through a laundry list of things you need to do observe your surroundings, the colors, flowers, birds, sounds and smells.  Focus on opening your senses and enjoy the walk by being fully present in it.
2. Mindful living is a practice that can extend into all areas of our lives.
Being fully present strengthens our relationships and helps us prioritize our values. We can cook, clean, care for our children and work mindfully. By focusing on the here and now, we can clear out the clutter of worry and stress about the future.
3. Meditate.
Our lives often move along at a near-frantic pace, and meditation helps us slow down long enough to simply exist within our own bodies without being overrun by thoughts. It really doesn't matter how long you meditate for. It is more important to make the effort. Increasing the time you sit will come gradually and without effort.
4. Utilize positive affirmations.
There are a plethora of positive affirmations you can use throughout the day. Here's a simply one: "I'm enough".
5. Begin (or continue) a yoga practice.
You'll find this practice to clear your mind and open your body. As a yoga teacher, I find if I miss a day of practice things tend to get chaotic for me. Start slow with your practice and let it build with time. Trust me, you will feel the difference physically and mentally.
6. Create quiet spaces in your family routines.
Turn off your phone, computer and TV during meals, when your reading or meditating. Let that time be special without interruption.
7. Take time to be outdoors.
Taking mindful walks or just spending time outside can help de-clutter our lives. There is something so settling about spending time in nature. A breath of fresh air and a little sunshine can help restore our spirits and bring a sense of calm to our lives.
8. Donate an item each time you purchase a new one.
Rather than allowing your possessions to quickly take over your space, you can choose to give something away and make room for something new. By keeping your environment clear of additional clutter, you can help keep your inner life free of clutter as well.
9. Focus on gratitude.
When we count our blessings each day, we’re more likely to be content in our lives rather than dissatisfied. Gratitude helps us realize that what we have is enough and that we are blessed in so many ways. Difficult days make gratitude a challenge, but these days are the ones where it’s most important to find something we’re thankful for.
10. Make time to laugh daily.
This one speaks for itself...LAUGH!
11. Nurture the relationships in our lives that nurture us.
We need to stop giving our time to the relationships that drain us. Instead, we can focus on building up the relationships where we are loved and supported.
12. Commit our time only to the essentials.
This goes back to examining your priorities. Rather than choosing to overwhelm yourself with obligations, commit to less activity and participate in the activities you choose more fully because you have the time and energy to put into them.

This spring as you de-clutter your home think about de-cluttering your life also. This way both you and your environment will shine.

~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...