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


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