Friday, December 23, 2016

Mudras!


Hand Mudras are gestures that symbolically open up the energy in and around you. Here are some of the most common hand mudras:

Dana - mudra - the gesture of giving; this gesture is made by extending the right arm over the right knee with the right palm facing outward.




Abhaya mudra - The gesture of fearlessness; this gesture, which symbolically dispels fear in others, is made by raising the right hand to the level of the heart and with the palm of the hand turned outward with all of the fingers extending upward.



Dhyana mudra - the meditation gesture; this is done by resting both hands in the lap, palms up, with right hand on top of the left.



Dharma chakra mudra - the gesture of the wheel of the law; this gesture is executed differently according to various traditions but mainly prayer hands over the heart.



Mary Jane Kasliner

www.fengshuiyoganj.com



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

From Here to There!



Photo by: Mary Jane Kasliner
Jersey Shore




Ralph Marston offers daily inspirations that have a way of stopping you in your tracks and take a moment to reflect. Today he discussing moving from "here to there;" or accepting where you are but taking responsibility to take the next step on your path. If we wish things could be better we are simply making things worse. We all have the capacity to move from our vision to achievement simply by our thoughts and actions. Follow through is the key to getting what you want. Today is the time to achieve!


Mary Jane Kasliner

www.fengshuiyoganj.com


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Kukkutasana - Rooster Pose!

In Sanskrit, Kukkuta means "cock" or "fowl." With legs in padmasana and the hands pushed down through the space between the thigh and calf, this posture strengthens the wrists and the abdomen. It requires a good sense of balance and concentration to sustain this pose but the benefits are invaluable. It improves digestion function and stimulates the heart and lungs. Tolasana is a similar pose that offers the same benefits. Instead of padmasana position for your legs, simply come into sukkasana and position hands along side the hips while lifting the lower portion of your body off the earth.



Mary Jane Kasliner

www.fengshuiyoganj.com


Monday, December 19, 2016

Find Your Inner Sanctuary!








Link your inner and outer landscape with the ancient practice of yoga and experience true bliss.

Since the dawn of time, man has sought to go beyond the self to reach a higher state of consciousness and inner harmony. One common thread to achieving this state of "oneness" is to go within by a process of disciplining the mind and body. Once the mind and body are aligned, the spirit naturally engages and all parts of the self are unified. This concept is at the very core of basic human desire; every human being wants to find happiness, a state that is completely reached only when we are "whole." This very quest is something that exists within each of us. Our goal then becomes what dwells within.

For many, meditation is a tough practice to engage in with discipline. The mind races with a resounding chatter that's enough to send us reeling out of control. Moving meditations such as yoga practice is an excellent way to begin to peel back the layers that embed the "true self" or our highest expression. It is at this level where enlightenment, bliss, harmony and peace exists. So how to we get there?

Yoga Practice

Yoga is an ancient science of health for the physical body and balance for the mind that provides a foundation to self knowledge. It is a distinctive and individual journey to unveiling the true self. In Sanskrit, yoga literally means "yoking" or union with mind and body. The meditative movements explore the stillness within motion, strength within ease, and wisdom within action. The combination of breath and movement uncovers the layers of the true self.

Peeling Back the Koshas to Find Peace

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.

The inner and outer landscape of the physical and emotional body are directly linked . By aligning these layers through the practice of moving meditations such as yoga, we begin to peel back and eradicate the painful parts of our life and embrace a higher vibration of living. When we connect with our true self life becomes easier and a certain sense of familiarity takes hold.
 

Blessings,

Mary Jane Kasliner

www.fengshuiyoganj.com

 

Friday, December 16, 2016

The 8 Limbs of Yoga!



1. Yama - Attitudes towards our environment comprising: ahimsa - ethic of non-violence, restraint from lying, stealing, greed.

2. Niyama - attitudes towards ourselves - comprising cleanliness, serenity, study, devotion and asceticism.

3. Asana - positioning of the body while incorporating the breath to achieve a greater awareness of the mind.

4. Pranayama - breath control - energizing and balancing of the mind-body through stilling and flow of breath (prana).

5. Pratyahara - Sense withdrawal - relaxation and internalization of the senses in order to activate the mind.

6. Dharana - concentration - focus and holding of attention.

7. Dhyana - meditation - prolonged concentration fills the whole consciousness.

8. Samadhi - ultimate state of self - realization leads to blissful state, the awakened state or liberation.


Slow and steady we move towards an awakened state of being!


Mary Jane Kasliner


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Marichyasana Pose



This asana, named after the sage Marichi (son of the creator Brahma and grandfather of the Sun of God, Surya), is excellent for the abdominal region as it causes those organs to contract, thereby increasing circulation.

Steps:

  1. Start in Dandasana, sitting with your legs straight in front of you. You can fold a blanket underneath your hips, or roll half of the yoga mat to bring your hips a bit higher.
  2. Bend your right knee, and bring the heel as close to the sitting bone as feels possible. Your right foot is flat on the ground, and the left foot is straight, left knee and toes are pointing up. Press the heel of the left leg onto the floor to activate the back of the leg.
  3. You can keep a slight internal rotation in the left leg, while the right, bent leg has a slight external rotation. Turn your upper body gently towards the left, so that the right shoulder rotates towards the left leg, and the left shoulder rotates back.
  4. Inhale your right arm up to shoulder level, and turn the thumb down. Exhale, start folding forward, and bring the right arm from outside your bent leg towards the right outer thigh.
  5. Inhale, and with an exhalation bring your left arm behind your back, and take a hold of your wrists or fingers behind your back.
  6. Keeping your back long, and keeping space between your pubic bone and navel, fold more forward. Draw your shoulder blades back towards your hands.
  7. Stay for 3-6 long breaths.
  8. To come out, release the hands first, sit up slowly, straighten the leg and take a few breaths before you repeat on the other side.



Mary Jane Kasliner

www.fengshuiyoganj.com





Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Twisting & Detoxification!



Twisting postures create a wringing effect on the abdominal organs. This helps to flush the liver and other organs, directing blood and lymphatic fluid into the larger vessels of the cardiovascular system, eliminating toxins. The abdominal muscles are the core prime movers in the twisting postures; however, depending on the pose there are other muscles that synergistically twist. For example, in twisting siddhasana, the sternocleidomastoid, latissimus dorsi, and triceps of one side assist the biceps and hamstrings of the other side to accentuate the twist.

Om!

Mary Jane Kasliner

www.fengshuiyoganj.com



Monday, December 12, 2016

Circulation Routes and Center of the Home!



Circulation routes such as halls, landings and stairs, are like the meridians, or energy lines, that thread through the body carrying chi (life force energy); both must be kept clear of blockages if the energy is to flow naturally. So avoid clutter in these parts of the home and place a ban on oversized furniture.

Keep the center of a room clear to create a sense of spaciousness and energy. This is an important principle of feng shui and Vastu (the ancient spiritual tradition of architecture and placement), which asserts that furniture placed in the sacred center of a room impedes flow of energy through the space.


Mary Jane Kasliner

www.njfengshuitraining.com



Inverted Poses!



Inverted poses reverse the effects of gravity, revitalizing the entire system. However, they also require a level of trust. It took me over a year before I developed a secure inversion practice with headstand pose. I'm still working on my handstands without the security of a wall behind me. It's all about trust when it comes to your inversion practice. The following are some tips for your headstand practice:



  • Start on your knees with your forearms on the floor
  • Tightly interlace your fingers with emphasis on the index and middle fingers
  • Form a cup shape with your hands
  • Firmly press the pinky sides of your hands into the floor  and anchor your forearms down
  • Make sure the back of your head touches your hands at the heel of your hands
  • Walk your knees a few inches behind your hips and lengthen the sides of your body from waist to shoulders
  • Exhale and melt the heart towards the earth & place the crown of the head on the floor
  • Straighten your legs and walk your feet towards your head while positioning your hips directly over your shoulders
  • Engage your shoulder blades onto your back
  • Bend your knees and use the core to gently lift your feet off the floor
  • Hug your legs together and lift your knees up over your shoulders & lengthen the tailbone to the ceiling
  • Distribute your weight between your head and forearms pressing your head into the earth but avoid compressing the neck
  • Extend your legs straight up over your torso & hug thighs to midline
  • Flex your feet  and spread your toes towards the floor

Namaste,

Mary Jane Kasliner

www.fengshuiyoganj.com


Friday, December 9, 2016

Ease Anxiety with These Yoga Poses


Photo take by : Mary Jane Kasliner


Let's face it, if we could sit in the garden image above who would be anxious. The reality is that rarely happens. Unfortunately, we are more likely rushing around trying to accomplish one more thing on that dreaded "to do" list. Maybe that garden isn't available to us but our yoga mat is. Why not make a point of taking a few minutes to delve into some yoga poses that will ease your worries, quiet your mind, and put you in a better place.

1. Puppy Pose: Get on all fours - hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Bring your hands forward and place your forehead on the mat.Palms touching the ground in front of you, thighs vertical and top of feet on the ground with toes curled under. Lift your elbows slightly off the ground and rotate the eyes of your elbows slightly inward. Push your hands into the floor and feel the stretch in the arms. At the same time pull your butt backwards towards your knees. Soak in an entire stretch in your body.

2. Child's Pose is always a winner when it comes to releasing stress.Get on your hands and knees placing knees together and ease your rear back so you are sitting on your heels and your forehead is touching the floor. Extend your arms back towards your feet and just relax.

3. Seated Forward Bend: Sit with your legs together on the floor in front of you. Flex the feet so the toes point upward. Plant your tailbone into the earth and straighten the spine. Inhale and extend your arms overhead - elbows to ears. Exhale hinge from the hips and lead with your heart and fold. Lift the lower belly and get long on the side body. Feel the inner seams of your thighs melt down and continue to keep the feet active by flexing them. Relax your mind and your breath while enjoying this pose.

Of course doing any of these poses are fantastic but in order to keep your mind at peace you also need to make sure your environment is at peace. Check out my feng shui mini-series programs and create a nurturing and high vibrating environment!

~Om!

Mary Jane - www.fengshuiyoganj.com

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Golden Key!

Olympic National Park

It is simple; the golden key opens the heart where true spirituality resides. Never be swayed from your true spirituality. It is a blessing and filled with goodness bestowed upon all beings. Carry this golden key of knowledge with you and use it any time.

Om Shanti!
Mary Jane Kasliner
www.fengshuiyoganj.com


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Power of Fire!



The element of fire is the most powerful of the 5 elements. In ancient Greek mythology, Prometheus was said to have created man by mixing earth and water together and Athena breathed air into this mixture imbuing it with spirit and soul. Prometheus added the higher soul with the element of fire that he borrowed from the wheel of the sun.

Fire enlightens everything leaving nothing in the shadows. Some other qualities of fire include:

1. Clarity - Fire illuminates, we see clearly and our insight gives us untold power. We become the creator of our own destiny and in the process empower self and others.

2. Being present - The fire element represents the "here and now." It teaches us to show up and be consciously aware of the world around us.

3. To be joyful - Fire is represented by the summer season and everything about summer spells joy. It is the time of year everything comes out to play, flowers are in bloom, and laughter is in the air.

4. Love - The heart is represented by the element of fire. The warmth and movement of the flame is like a warm heart open to receive and give love.

5. Power - A significant level of maturity is how we use power. The element of fire propels us to use power in a constructive manner by having a set of principles that guide our use of it.

To increase fire in your environment place strong wood or healthy plant in the south portent. Add fire images as well such as animal prints, the sun, stars, or people. Materials such as cotton or leather also bode well. Candles, fireplace or wood stove are also beneficial objects that represent the element of fire.

Here's to lighting up your life!

Mary Jane Kasliner
www.njfengshuitraining.com


Reinforce your Daily Work!

Olympic National Park


It's easy to get lost in the chaos of all the "to do's" in life. Why not reinforce your daily work with these simple steps.

  • First thing in the morning be thankful for what you have
  • Meditate and review daily affirmations
  • Enjoy daily exercise
  • Eat nutritional meals
  • Review your affirmations again
  • Take time for relaxation
  • Take time for mental imagery
  • Engage in your work
  • Expand your knowledge
  • Let go of limitations
  • Demonstrate results
All is perfect in the infinity of life!

Mary Jane Kasliner
www.fengshuiyoganj.com


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Day 5 Getting Grounded!

Prince Edward Island


In my opinion there is nothing like yoga outdoors. This to me is the best way to ground as Mother Earth is right there to imbue your body, mind and spirit with direct current compatible to human cells. Here are a few poses you can begin your day with before moving into your meditation.

1. Supported Headstand or Tri-pod. If these poses are not available to you in your practice rabbit pose works just as well. Try to remain in your inversion of at least 5 to 10 full breaths.



2. Neck Stretch. Find a comfortable seat and assist your neck stretch with your hand on the side of your head while extending your opposite hand to the ground. Repeat opposite side. Remain in stretch for at least 5 breaths.



3. Alternate Nostril Breath. This is exactly what it sounds like. Simply alternate the breath through your nostrils by releasing your left hand to rest upon your left knee connecting thumb and index finger. Use the thumb of your right hand to gently close the right nostril, and index and ring finger to close the left nostril. To start, close your right nostril and gently and fully inhale through the left nostril. Then close off the left nostril and exhale through the right. Inhale through your right nostril, and then close your right nostril and exhale through your left. Repeat for 3 to 5 minutes.



4. Meditate. Find a comfortable seated position with spine erect. Set your intention and stay here for 5, 10 or 20 minutes.




Namaste,
Mary Jane Kasliner
www.fengshuiyoganj.com



Boost Your Environment Feng Shui Style - Tips to Kick Things Up a Notch!






Sipping my green tea with pomegranate this morning and ready to throw you a few feng shui adjustments that will kick things up a notch around your environment. Here we go!

1. Lighting - This is such a simply way to expand the energy in your home or office. Think upward lighting for those suppressed dark areas. You'll be glad you did. Gravitate towards incandescent or full spectrum lighting whenever possible. These are closest to nature. Of course your best bet is to let the sun shine in whenever possible. Use stain glass or colored bottles on a window ledge to spray a rainbow of colors into your room for a dramatic natural effect.

2. Mirrors - Can enlarge a smaller space, draw positive images into a room, defect negative energy and open up missing sections from the bagua template due to architectural design. Leave these handy accent pieces out of bedrooms please as they are just to energetic for the human body at rest.

3. Sound - The vibration of sound keeps energy moving. This can be achieved with chimes, water features, music or noise machines with nature sounds.

4. Stability Objects - Objects that are heavy such as statues, pillars, rocks or mountain images all provide a stabilizing element. These bode especially well in staircases or center of structure.

5. Life Force - Besides human energy, pets, fish plants and flowers are wonderful energy boosters.

6. Movement Objects - These tend to circulate energy throughout the environment keeping things fresh. Some examples are flags, wind socks, chimes, mobiles and water features.

7. Color - This is a playful way to kick the energy up in any environment. For a fresh and healthy look and feel make sure you use organic or no VOC paints. Be mindful of the room purpose, its direction and the color choices you make.

For more information on how to feng shui your environment delve into my feng shui designs in a flash CD or any of my mini-feng shui series. If you need to increase some wealth before your decorating project don't miss out on my abundance package!

Mary Jane Kasliner
www.njfengshuiyoganj.com


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Open Your Heart & Stay Grounded!


Day four begins with opening your heart while remaining grounded. Your heart and chest space is where you give and receive love. The following poses are perfect to open your heart and connect to the earth.

1. Cat- Cow with flipped wrists: Move into tabletop position and turn your palms laterally so your fingertips point to the sides of your mat. Ground your palms and spin your fingers so they face your knees. This is fantastic in opening your wrist joints. Do at least 6 rounds of cat-cow with opening wrist position.



2. Shoulder Stretch: There are many different yoga poses that stretch your shoulders. Thread the needle, cow-face or simply reverse namaste hands, are all great ways to open your shoulders. Hold for 3-5 breaths in either of the aforementioned poses.



3. Bridge Pose: This is a wonderful pose to open the heart space. Work with the breath and flow into bridge, hold for 5 breaths and release. Repeat this flow 5 times.



4. Meditate: Place a rolled blanket across the top third of your mat; lie face up on the roll so that it supports the bottom edge of your shoulder blades, Let your heart expand open and open your arms out to the side resting on the floor. Remain in this reclining meditation pose for several minutes.



Mary Jane Kasliner

www.fengshuiyoganj.com



Friday, December 2, 2016

Day 3 - Clarity!

                                                                 Cinque Terra, Italy
                                                        Photo by : Mary Jane Kasliner 


It's very easy to lose focus with all the multi-tasking that goes on today. Today, is about opening your hips, hamstrings and side body.

1. Janu Sirsasana - Head to Knee pose. You want to spend a good 2 to 3 minutes in this pose before moving to the opposite side. Make sure you ground the inner groins and lengthen the side body and central channel before folding over the extended leg.


2. Parsvottanasana - Pyramid Pose. In this pose make certain your sits bones reach high so you can keep the hips squared. The tendency is for the opposite hip of straight leg to open up.  Hold this pose for several breaths then step back to down dog and repeat opposite side.



3. Utthita Parsvakonsana - Extended side angle. It's important in this pose to engage muscle to bone towards the mid-line. Let the torso twist and the neck lengthen to gaze skyward. Keep the front leg (knee over ankle) and imagine a string extending from the outer knee to outer hip pulling backward for good alignment.


4. Pigeon Pose: From down dog move into this hip opening pose. Make sure you root down through the back toes as you walk your hands forward  and let the gaze follow. Keep the hips squared and breath into the hip meridian for 5 to 10 breaths before moving to the opposite side.



5. Meditate: Take a comfortable seat on the ground, chair or sofa, with or without your back supported. Set your timer for 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes , close your eyes and settle into your breath.



Here's to day 3 finding clarity! 


Mary Jane Kaslinerwww.fengshuiyoganj.comwww.njfengshuitraining.com





Thursday, December 1, 2016

Revving Up your Inner Engines!



'When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied." -Herophilus

What if your body came with an owner's manual? What do you think it would include? Arguably, topics such as ideal weight, proper diet, exercise and sleep would be in the table of contents. Albeit important topics when it comes to health, something tells me that if we delve deeper we might find a section that moves beyond the physical. This section of the manual might look something like this:


  • Look at your whole being rather than just your palpable being
  • Acknowledge your thoughts and emotions
  • Understand your purpose in life
  • Create a relationship with Higher Power
Obviously this section sounds very different from the first perspective as the role and chieftain is higher self. When referencing this manual it requires you to expand your focus beyond the physical and tune into the subtle energy body. This is the body that determines how healthy we really are.

Continue reading this chapter in my book: Journey to Health: Living Well from the Inside Out, co-authored with seven other like-minded individuals.



The Wisdom Buffet Writers

www.thewisdombuffet.com




Day 2 Get Grounded: Connecting to Your Core!



Day 2 in getting grounded the focus is your core. When the core is strong, it will help you feel steady physically and energetically. This makes it easier to feel centered when things get chaotic. The following are some poses that focus on the core.

*Begin in downward facing dog to warm up and stretch your limbs and muscles. As you move through the following asanas focus on breathing through the belly.

1. Warrior 3 - You can progress into this pose from Down dog. You have the option to remain supported in this pose with your hands down on the earth or a prop, or for the full expression lifting your arms off the ground. Remain in this pose for 3 breaths and repeat opposite side.


2. Triangle Pose - From Down dog progress into triangle pose. Concentrate on breathing into your arm extending towards the heavens and exhaling your navel back back to your spine to twist the heart space open, gazing towards the sky. Hold for 3 breaths and repeat opposite side.



3. Flying Side Angle Pose: From Down dog progress into this pose . Make sure you place the back heel down toward 45 degree angle, then stack your armpit over your knee. You have an option to lift your fingertips off the earth and literally "fly" in the pose. After 5 breaths return to Down dog and repeat opposite side.


4. Plank Pose: From Down dog inhale to plank, then exhale navel to spine, seat high back into down dog.  Repeat this sequence (inhale to plank exhale to down dog) at least 5 times.



5. Meditate: Come to a comfortable cross-legged seat. Bring your arms up to 60 degrees and fold your fingers into your palms, point your thumbs up and angle them slightly toward one another. Sit for 3 to 10 minutes, feeling a sense of joy. If your arms get tired rest them on your lap.



 A nice way to end your meditation is to chant the sounds of the chakras: Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, Om, Om!

Mary Jane Kasliner
www.fengshuiyoganj.com
www.njfengshuitraining.com