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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Find your Inner Light!

By and large most of us are running in a frenetic pace to keep up with life. We are entering the season where this pace can really kick up. Take time to slow up the pace by finding your inner light. The chakras are a way to turn up the light that resides within. Here are a few poses that can easily activate these energy centers and help to bring balance from off your mat into your daily life.

Root: Practice warrior 2 while engaging the root lock while silently chanting the sound "lam." Standing in this asana brings forth a sense of stability. Translate that stability to your finances and relationship with humanity.

Sacral: Seated forward bends and hip openers are fabulous poses to activate this joyous center of creativity and sensuality. While practicing this pose release any negative emotions from past relationships. Inhale harmony and exhale resentment towards others while chanting the sound "vam".

Solar: Twisting asanas are a fantastic way to activate manipura. This is the tear drop of the heart, the inner warrior and the seat of higher consciousness. Tap into your inner confidence and release aggressive and controlling behavior. et the fear completely ring out as you twist while chanting the sound of "ram."

Heart: It is hard to be compassionate to others if we lack compassion for self. Bridge pose is a perfect asana for this chakra as it acts as a bridge for self and others. Recite the sound "yam" as you enter this pose. Breathe deeply into the vibration of love.

Throat: Can you speak the impeccable word if you have no idea who you are? Not very likely. In order to communicate your truth you need to find out who you are. Practice fish pose and silently chant the sound "ham." Let your truth evolve and take it out into the world.

Third Eye: The wisdom that lies within, the inner guru is you. We can only express and begin to understand that wisdom by way of those teachers who enter our life on both sides of the veil. Enter into child's pose and rock the point between the brow into mother earth. Capture Her wisdom to open up inside you. Chant the sound "om" and let it resonate throughout your entire being.

Crown: Take flight and soar to your divine self. Practicing headstand or any inversion is beneficial to tap into the higher realm of your spirit essence. The sound of "om" shall lift you to a place beyond the ego.

Have fun exploring the chakras and stay tuned in to my 40 hour advance Chakra Taoist Training program starting Spring 2017!

Mary Jane Kasliner

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Chant Away your Stress!

A great way to rid yourself of feeling overwhelmed is to simply chant it away. Stand in Tadasana (mountain pose), with hands in prayer position in front of your heart. Inhale and raise your arms overhead (Urdva Hastasana), and silently chant om as you move. Exhale to forward fold bringing your hands to the earth repeating "it's not about me." Repeat 10 times, breathing fully through the movements. When you are finished sit quietly and let the vibration of the moving sound be absorbed throughout your being.

Mary Jane Kasliner

Monday, November 21, 2016

"Pie in the Sky Yogini: Modifying Janu Sirsasana with Grace!

Janu Sirsasana or head to knee pose, re-energizes the body and aids in digestion by stretching the ascending and descending colon. Many times while moving into this pose we have illusions of grandeur and move to deeply. Instead, try moving into this pose with grace and patience.

  • Try not to drop your sacrum and round your spine. It is important when placing the sole of your foot to the inner aspect of the extended leg you gently swing your knee away from the the extended leg so there is enough space for you to fold forward.
  • Make sure you pull up on the kneecap of the extended leg or engage the quadricep powerfully.
  • If there is a tendency for your low back to round, then try placing your sitting bones on a folded blanket or firm foam pad. 
  • If you have knee pain try moving your bent knee towards the straight leg as a woder angle can create stress on the sartorius muscle, which runs the length of the thigh and connects to the knee.
  • If you have tight hamstrings try using a strap, placing it around the lower arch of your extended leg. Hold one side of the strap in each hand and use the strap to help you lift the sides of your waist. Fold forward as far as you can keep your spine concave and chest lifted.
Stay humble and enjoy this pose!


Mary Jane Kasliner

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"Pie in the Sky"Yogini: Sit in Padmasana!

Padmasana is a great pose for breathing techniques and meditation. Padma means lotus. This is the lotus posture and one of the most important and useful asanas. This pose is one of the most relaxing  poses for the body. The body being in a sitting posture, it is at rest without being sloppy. This posture keeps the back erect and the mind alert and attentive. Hence it is one of the best poses for breath control.

Mary Jane Kasliner

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Pie in the Sky Yogini - Chaturanga Pose!

Chaturanga is one of the most common poses in yoga that we do over and over again especially if you practice vinyasa yoga. So many times I see students move through the pose so quickly they do not give themselves a chance to work through it. Two common pitfalls are the shoulder blades lift off the back and the head of the shoulder rounds forward; both place a tremendous load on the shoulder joint. The body will compensate this problematic position by lifting the butt up into the air.If you strengthen the upper back muscles this will rectify poor shoulder positioning in the pose.

The key is to make sure your arms are 90 degrees to the floor while lowering down. For this to happen you need to shift your body forward while in plank pose. Make sure you really shift forward - more than you think to broaden across the collar bones. Next, pin your shoulder blades to your back. Let them connect behind your heart. Bend your elbows and hugs them close to your ribs as you lower towards the ground. Your hands should be positioned by your lower ribs and not directly under your shoulders. Reach back with your heels and extend through the crown of your head

Stay Healthy!
~ Mary Jane -

Friday, November 4, 2016

"Pie in the Sky" Yogini: Effects of Headstand!

The ancient books have called sirsasana the king of all asanas. When we are born the head normally comes out first then all the limbs. The skull encases the brain, which controls the nervous system and the organs of sense. All the qualities; mobility, harmony, knowledge, etc. stem from the brain. The head is considered the center of sattvic qualities which control discrimination; the trunk of rajasic qualities which control passion, emotions and actions; and the region below the diaphragm of tamasic qualities which control sensual pleasure of enjoyment of food and drink and sex.

Regular practice of sirsasana makes healthy pure blood flow through the brain cells. This improves thinking power and thoughts become clearer. If headstand is not in your practice then start with shoulder stand. Regular and precise practice develops the body and disciplines the mind.

~ Om!

Mary Jane

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pie in the Sky Yogini: Bicepts!

Ever wonder how hard your bicepts work in yoga postures? Let me tell you they are putting in their time. Just to note when the bicepts contract, the forearm rotates and two actions occur; palms rotate upward and the elbow flexes. When the bicepts are tight poses such as purvottanasana and Sarvangasna become challenging.

When you take the pose of reverse plank for example, the bicepts will stretch while the posterior section of the deltoids will contract. Whereas in shoulder stand or seated forward fold the bicepts will contract. Many times we forget that if a pose such as the aforementioned ones feel uncomfortable it is because our bicepts are not feeling the love. Take time to stretch out your arms and wrists before delving into these poses.


Mary Jane

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