Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Cold Weather Yoga Tips



Albeit very tempting to snuggle up under a blanket while the temperature declines, the better thing to do is to move your body. Here are a few cold weather yoga tips to help warm you up and ease stiff joints.

  • Start your day with a few rounds of sun salutations. Follow them up with ground poses to get deeper into connective tissue for full release of any muscle tension.
  • Regular yoga practice will help to build your immune system. That is a perfect way to keep bacteria at bay.
  • Practice pranayama (breathing exercises) to clear out congestion. Kapal Bhati or skull shining breath is a wonderful way to heat up the body during these cold days.
  • Include a meditation before and after your practice to help lift the "winter blues." It acts like an instant mood changer.
  • Because it is cold outside, the body stays in a contractive state. Try adding more shoulder openers into your practice. Be mindful of externally rotating upper arm bones to let the heart come through in poses such as warrior 1.
  • Practice mindful eating as the tendency is to indulge during the colder months. Shift your diet to include more soups, green tea, ginger and stewed vegetables.
This winter stay warm by rolling out your yoga mat and moving with the ebb and flow of your breath!

Om,
Mary Jane - Feng SHui Yoga Girl: www.fengshuiyoganj.com


Friday, December 22, 2017

Embrace the Rise and Fall of Life

Niagara Falls - Canada

The length of the day, the span of the year, the duration of a life, the blossoming and decay of a flower: your yoga practice mirrors the rhythm of these cyclical natural phenomena, Savasana, the Sanskrit name for Corpse Pose, is usually the final pose of a yoga practice session. When we release our bodies into this restful pose, lying on our backs, palms facing up, we acknowledge that everything is born, lives, and passes away. When we take savasana, we acknowledge nature's processes, and join in more fully. We become one with nature through the ritual of savasana. We acknowledge the rise and fall of life and its brevity, its beauty. Each yoga practice is like living life and completing a cycle; at the end we rest.

Om Shanti,
Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl: www.fengshuiyoganj.com


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Winter Solstice 2017!

The Winter Solstice and the Energy it Holds!
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Winter Solstice

The Energy Patterns!

Winter officially begins on Thursday December 21, 2017. The winter solstice represents the birth of the sun - both universally and personally. The rising sun on the winter solstice, out of the darkest day of the year, echoes the birth of light from the dark void on the first day of creation.

The ancient Egyptians understood this connection between creation and the winter solstice as they aligned the Karnac Temple Complex to the rising sun of the winter solstice.  This complex was never completed, as successive Pharaohs kept making additions to it as a living example of the process of creation. These additions were built according to the famous Fibonocci sequence (mathematical sequence) found in growth and expansion of life.

The birth of the sun as the light of the first day also represents the birth of our own spiritual light. The physical sun brings light to the world, the spiritual sun gives spiritual life to the individual.




Elevate Your Consciousness!

Mary Jane

 
December 21st:
The day of the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, meaning we experience the least amount of sun light. It is also a time the sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky
There is a gradual cooling process of the earth over the next few months, albeit the earth still does retain some of its heat from summer and fall.  
Astronomical Influences:

There is an interesting alignment on December 21st in terms of Saturn and the sun. The sun is going to move into the astrological sign of Capricorn, and as a result, the sun and Saturn will line up. The last time the sun and Saturn aligned was in 1664.


What it Means:

Saturn is a planet that depicts the qualities of personal  awareness and experience. It represents the finite  limit to our own perceptions, capabilities and life. Since Saturn is slow moving, taking 29 to 30 years to orbit the sun, it is associated with old age, low energy, and overall lack of ability to move forward.

Saturn has natural rulership over places and conditions that are cold, dark and oppressive. Hard physical labor is the cornerstone to this planet's energy. With that being said, try not to start anything new on Thursday, as it will take you three times as long to complete the task. You may feel tired, limited  and constrained from this alignment.

The Element of Water Peaking Through the Rat Branch:

Winter is represented by the element of water in 5 phase theory. It is associated with the sense of sight, the bladder, and the kidney meridian. Therefore, these areas are more vulnerable this month, and especially on Thursday when the energy peaks. This includes the hamstrings too, so be mindful in your yoga practice to open them slowly with these poses.  Click here for my short blog on a great pose for the winter Solstice!




Water's Tendency:

Water has a tendency to move fast or be still. Active or yang water pushes forward relentlessly and fearsome to reckon with. Gentle water, on the other hand, is like the dew that nurtures and seeps into the soil of the earth.

Communicating and advancing your ideas by influencing others is a powerful sign water is in motion. Other people's mind becomes the vessel to help carry creative ideas into positive action. Tune in, as this water energy has a way to accurately gauge future potentials. Persistence is the cornerstone behind reaching your intended goals this month by propelling instead of compelling others into motion.

The Rat branch falls on the 24 mountain template North second mountain with peak of the winter solstice. It is the self-proclaimed acquisitor. It is a yang stem or male energy that is resourceful and practical. Taking a forthright and inquisitive approach to matters for the rest of this month, into early January, is the best way to act on this energy, especially when it comes to your career and life goals.

Taking time to cherish friends and family is also inherent to the Rat's personality. That should be easy since we are in the holiday season of light and joy. Just be careful of gossip and criticism, as the Rat loves to engage in this type of behavior. 

Holiday Items That Lift Energy!

This space clearing E-program is perfect to set into action as we move from the metal and air season of autumn into the water of winter. Getting everything in order for the holidays and NEW YEAR is key! And the best part about this is I have included my entire Mini-E Series for the 2017 Holiday Sale!

Now just
$14.97 per program! Choose any E- Program for $14.97 or all 6 For $67.97. Click here to view the series. Sale is only applicable by emailing me directly! If you are a student of feng shui, these are excellent programs to keep as part of your tools! Or buy it as a gift for friend or relative!


Get your signed copy of my third book Mother Nature a Bridge to Conscious Living.  This journal-style book is a culmination of meditations with nature while hiking through the Pacific Northwest. Find out what the spirit of trees, mountains, wind, fire, water, sky and earth have to tell us! Signed copy for just $7.95 plus S/H. There is a limited supply, so get yours while they last. Email me for your order!


Feng Shui Designs in a Flash is always a favorite. Have fun designing your entire home or office with amazing feng shui! This E-Kit is filled with feng shui design strategies that YOU can implement yourself. Have fun with the Life Enhancement template to catapult change for 2018! Holiday Sale - $39.97! Email me here for your order!

PERUSE MY OTHER PUBLICATIONS HERE!

Check out video below about the Teaching Tortoise School of Classical Feng Shui. View the video and email me to sign up for the Home Study Program and receive the EXTENDED Holiday Sale! To read about the course curriculum click here! To see regular fees click here. A surprise fee when you email me for registration!
Teaching Tortoise School of Classical Feng Shui Discussion.
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Monday, December 18, 2017

Watery Energy Peaking and Malasana Pose


Water energy is peaking through the Rat earthly branch with the winter solstice approaching in just two days. Malasana pose is a perfect pose to practice with the water tables filling deep within the earth. The root chakra (earth element) and the navel chakra (water element) are activated in this prayer squat. Samana vayu saturates the intestinal organs with fresh prana in this pose, while apana vayu releases prana downlward to flush the body of toxins. There are a few points to be mindful of when practicing this wintery pose.

  • Draw pelvic floor  up into the body and the low abdomen back into the spine to lengthen and align the spine. 
  • Press arms out against the knees and the knees inward against the arms. 
  • Sense a tremendous release downward through the pelvic floor  as the entire pelvis and abdomen are open towards the earth.
  • With each breath draw into the pelvis and with each exhalation cleanse your entire being through apana vayu.
Malasana, a pose to clear and open into true self!




Om!
Mary Jane - Feng Shui Yoga Girl
www.fengshuiyoganj.com

Friday, December 15, 2017

Bringing Your Practice Home!

Bringing it Home!



Be inspired and create your own home yoga practice. We are moving into the colder months now and that means weather can get pretty ugly out there. I don't know about you, but when the weather is cold and dreary it becomes a challenge to leave the house to go to work, let alone to practice yoga. Now, it's not to say I never leave my home in inclement weather to take a yoga class, but it is certainly nice to know I can roll out my mat and engage in a powerful practice in the comfort of my home.

Steps:
1. Find a room or area within a room that you can roll out your mat.
2. Assess the environment for good feng shui. Make sure the elements are balanced so you feel comfortable.
3. Place images, artwork, fabrics, etc. that inspire you.
4. Use natural elements and materials in the design process to minimize or eliminate chemical outgassing.
5. Space clear the room with a combination of essential oils, incense, bells, stones and crystals or anything else that feels cleansing to you.
6. Start simple. Don't overwhelm yourself with long practices and complicated sequences.
7. Choose a time that works for you.
8. Let your body guide you instead of making rules for your practice. Maybe take savasana in the middle of your practice instead of at the end.
9. Reading a spiritual book can be a huge inspiration at the beginning and end of a practice.

*Note: To learn more about how to create a balanced and peaceful room see my Feng Shui E-Mini-Series. 

Simple and Engaging Self Practice:

        

                                    


 Follow this short vinyasa flow practice and be inspired for the rest of your day.

  • Begin in seated easy pose and come into a brief meditation
  • Turn your attention to the breath
  • Set an intention for your practice - perhaps to be more humble
  • Come to table-top and take a few rounds of cat - cow
  • Release to child's pose
  • Rise into down dog
  • Walk the earth to the top of your mat to mountain pose
  • Raise your arms overhead sending gaze towards heaven
  • Forward fold to the earth
  • Release right foot back for modified anjanelyasana (low lunge); inhale your arms overhead
  • Exhale and release your hand either side of front foot and sit back towards your heels to stretch your hamstrings
  • Inhale and bend your knee, and exhale your right arm to the sky for spinal twist
  • Release and step back into downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Inhale to plank pose, exhale to your knees, chest and chin toward the mat
  • Slide forward to low cobra, and then shift your hips back to child's pose
  • Curl your toes under and shift to down dog
  • Inhale and walk your feet to the top of the mat
  • Breathe in and soften your knees
  • Roll up to standing and return your hands to the heart center 
  • Repeat this sequence opposite side

Set time for your practice so that ultimately nothing can knock you off the center of your day!

Om!
Mary Jane Kasliner
FengShui Yoga Girl - www.fengshuiyoganj.com

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Power of the Breath


Breathing gives us much pleasure. Just to breathe is enough to always be happy, to enjoy life. Just to be alive is enough. Here is a simple meditation that helps us to remember the power of the breath.

  • Focus your attention on your lungs, as if only your lungs exists.
  • Notice the pleasure you feel when you lungs fully expand. This is the most powerful sensation a human being can have - to breathe freely.
  • Take a deep breath and feel the air as it fills your lungs. Feel how the air is sweet, pleasant and filled with love.
  • Notice the connection between the air and your lungs. There is a connection between the air and pure love.
  • Continue to expand your lungs with air until your body intuitively surrenders through the exhalation.
  • Notice how relaxed and fulfilled you feel with each complete inhalation and exhalation. 
  • Continue this full breathing effort for several minutes and capture the essence of love with each breath as you move through your day.
Om!
Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Power of Gratitude




The power of gratitude is remarkable. It has the strongest link with mental well-being than any other character trait. Gratitude can:

  • Increase spiritualism
  • Improve health and vitality
  • Increase self esteem
  • Improve sleep
  • Make you happier

Practicing gratitude is simple and a sure way to improve your life. Here are a few ways you can express gratitude:
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Think about 5 things you are grateful for every morning
  • Send notes of appreciation to a friend or loved one
  • Tap into a meditation practice

Having an attitude of gratitude is the shortest path to happiness. This holiday season be sure to express gratitude for all that you have.

Gratitude Quotes:

"We can only said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."  
                   - Thornton Wilder

"Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours."
                    -Marcus Aurelius

"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude."
             - A.A. Milne in Winnie-the-Pooh


Om!
Mary Jane - Feng Shui Yoga Girl


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

In the Flurry of the Holidays...



In the flurry of the holiday season, waves of emotions may arise. Remember to breathe, let go and to meet all that arises with loving awareness. Easier said than done, but here is a powerful concept to consider; Take One Minute for Yourself!

It is the self that we need to take care of because when we take good care of our "selves," we are healthier, happier and able to help other people.
How do you take care of you in one minute? Make a point several times a day to STOP and ask yourself this question: "Is there a way, right now, for me to take better care of myself? You have the answer within exactly how to nurture yourself but here are a few ideas to consider:
  • Simplify your life
  • Change your attitude
  • Tap into the power of self observation through prayerful meditation
  • Treat yourself as you would like others to treat you
  • Encourage others to take better care of themselves
  • Be loving
  • Give yourself a daily hug

When every person in the world takes better care of themselves, everyone in the world will feel better taken care of and then we may finally begin to care more about each other.


Om!
Mary Jane Feng Shui Yoga Girl - www.fengshuiyoganj.com 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Open up to What You Are Resisting



Christina Garofalo - Colorado




What are you resisting most is the question for today? What matters is to be open to the whole journey and not just parts of it. In your yoga practice today, explore if there is a feeling, a person, a thought, a project that you have been avoiding. Is there something you are refusing to deal with, something you are resisting. Ignore the voice that is resisting and be open to everything. Open as wide as the eye can see. Your greatest lesson may come from those things you are resisting the most.

Yoga Practice Suggestions:

Try long deep hip openers like lizard or pigeon pose. Stay in the pose for at least 5 full minutes and resist the urge to release from the pose. See what comes us when you ask yourself the question; "What am I resisting most?"


Om!
Mary Jane FengshuiYoga Girl: www.fengshuiyoganj.com

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Inaction Within Action - Yoga & Feng Shui Advice for December 2017!



Photo by Serena Photography - Fairmount Park, Philadelphia





December brings forth a sheng (harmony) cycle of elements from the 7 metal star, to the yang water heavenly stem residing over the yin water rat earthly branch. In nature, all things find a point of equilibrium. Essentially, there is inaction within action. Nature is not the "doer" but rather the "non-doer." This is why we feel so free when experiencing the outdoors.

How to Experience Inaction within Action:

This is a tricky. By and large, we have programmed ourselves to be "doers." Somewhere along the way it was determined the more you do the more you will get out of life. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna, the great warrior, is about to enter the battlefield that represents life, when Krishna tells him: "It is the idea, "I am the doer" that binds one to samskara (emotional imprints that causes suffering). If on the other hand one is a silent witness of their activities, feeling as if " it is done through me," we experience the energy of "I am a non-doer," and free ourselves. 

Putting it Into Perspective:


The energy combinations for the month of December gives us a blueprint of how we can move towards inaction within action. The leading element of metal begins the cycle of movement this month. Metal is seen in the trigram Dui located in the west portal of the loshu grid (Magic Square), noted as the loshu number 7.


The LoShu grid was named after the river Lo in the Henan province in China. According to legend, the river would periodically over flow. A giant tortoise was said to arose from the river with an inscription of trigram markings on its shell. Yu the Great interpreted these markings and developed the Loshu grid. King Wen further developed this grid into the Later Heavenly ba-gua system used in aspects of Feng Shui analysis.

The position of this trigram corresponds to the moon rising, yin elevating, autumn reaching peak, the reaping of our works that took shape from the start of the day, and the beginning of our life. It holds the innocence and playfulness of a child. There is great precision, intuition and truth that stems from this element. There is a calling to move inward and find truth in all that we create. 

Movement of Loshu Number 7:

The ebb and flow of time causes the loshu numbers to shift from their home base. The month of December pushes the trigram Dui (loshu 7) to the center position. When this happens all the other loshu number also shift. This is how change happens. The new home base for this trigram is naturally being fueled by the center of the earth. Every 20 years there is a greater shift in energy causing the loshu numbers to take on potential problematic aspects. Trigram Dui or loshu 7, happens to be in a problematic phase. 

How to Work Inaction Within Action with Loshu # 7:

The first step is to let go of any attachment to the fruits of the actions I am going to list below. When you do this you are ever content, independent and needing nothing. We do nothing even while engaged in action!


  • Reach out to mentors, seek heavenly guidance and be open to new opportunities. Go inward first to attract the right mentor, the spirit guide, and then watch closely. The inaction of the action will catapult fortunate blessings.
  • See yourself as the vessel of your work and how you can make a difference in the world. A newness awaits, ideas manifest deep within like the water tables that fill in the depths of the earth.
  • Take the inward journey through your meditations. The road may seem long but the answers you will receive are like that of white foam in the ocean waves.
Yoga Poses Loshu #7:

Concentrating on poses that open the throat chakra are powerful for this trigram as it corresponds to the mouth and teeth, or how we talk. Poses such as:

  • Halasana- Plough
  • Matsyasana - Fish
  • Ushtrasana - Camel
  • Bhujangasana - Cobra
While practicing these poses keep the mind inactive while the body is active. In asana, if we make the spine rajastic (active), and the head tamastic (inactive), the body and the mind become sattvic (serene). We no longer "do" the pose, the pose is done through us.

Loshu #7 In The Home:

In the center of the home place virtual water such as a seashell. This will effectively tame the problematic aspects of this trigram for the month of December. Here are a few other elemental hints:

  • Place a metal element in the northeast to build the positive energy for your life journey.
  • Place fire and earth elements in the southeast to welcome new opportunities networking potential.
  • In the west place water and wood elements to support creativity for your vision and goals.
  • In the Northwest place strong earth and fire or moving water to propel your connection to resources that lead to financial gain.
Yang Water To Yin Water Rat Earthly Branch:

This is a great deal of water as seen in the 4 pillars (Bazi) for the month of December. The element of water carries the energy of the womb. There is a natural introspective and emotional nature to this element. There is also a downward pull to water as seen in nature with rain or snow. Albeit water can be nourishing, it also has a tendency to deteriorate. That can show up as being overly lethargic or destructive in the way you communicate with others.

The rat earthly branch is very active especially when it comes to the mind working overtime. This is going to really challenge us this month to find that QUIET mind; the inaction within action. This agitation can quickly turn into impatient. 

How to Find Inaction Within Action for the Water Rat:

Since we are dealing with so much water with this combination, emotions are going to run high this month. I suggest adding to your yoga practice poses that work directly with the navel chakra. Here are some suggestions:

  • Navasana - Boat Pose
  • Virabhdrasana 1 - Warrior 1
  • Sun Salutations

Adding these poses to your practice will also bring a little yang energy to the overwhelming yin component of water this month.

For further information on how to utilize the 5 elements in design effectively see my Feng Shui Designs in a Flash E-Program.


Namaste!



Mary Jane