Friday, June 29, 2018

Working Your Bridge Pose

Bridge pose can be looked at as bridging the gap between the mind and body. This pose offers a great stretch for the upper and front body - chest and shoulders, neck, spine, front legs and a strengthening pose for the back, buttocks and hamstrings. It is also a great pose to stimulate digestion by massaging the abdominal organs. This pose also offers the benefits of calming the mind and nervous system, as the heart is higher than the head.

Things to Consider in this Pose:

  • Get grounded into the earth with the back of your shoulders and head. Avoid moving your head from side to side in this position.
  • Your feet should be firmly planted into the ground approximately hip width distance apart. Think about pressing your big toes into the earth. This will keep the knees from moving away from the midline. You can also place a block between the knees to assist in proper positioning.
  • On an inhalation rainbow the hips upwards. 
  • Keep refining the pose by moving your chest towards your chin and lengthen your tailbone towards your feet. 
  • Relax your face and take 5 complete breaths before releasing the pose.
  • If you want to take a yin position for this pose, simply place a block beneath the sacrum. This is a divine way to release the lower back.
  • If you want more of a challenge, try bending one knee towards the chest and then lengthen it upwards. Hold for a few breaths and release. Repeat on the opposite side.

Mary Jane - Feng Shui Yoga Girl -

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Warrior Within!

     Several years ago, my husband and I took a trip to the Pacific Northwest. We did a great deal of hiking throughout Olympic National Park. During one of our excursions, I decided to pull off my hiking gear and stand on this rock ledge to experience peaceful warrior. I wasn't too concerned with perfect alignment, but rather to experience the warrior within standing on a ledge that was high enough to be in the mist of clouds. 

     When we think about (Virabhadrasana), it is a name given to the mythical warrior Virabhadra. One of the main bases of yoga is non-violence, so why do we practice a pose named after a warrior? The significance of this pose is that it shifts our attention to the fact that the real battle is the battle within us – our struggle with self-ignorance, false perceptions and distracted mind. It also reminds us to respond to situations with right action, rather than reacting with wrong action.

     Practicing any of the warrior poses cultivates strong will and determination, openness and readiness to embrace higher values in life. The combination of determination and openness is the key point in our personal progress. The next time you flow into and out of your warrior poses, connect with your higher self, defend those who are victims, and soar through the vast universe that lies within.  

Om Shanti!,

Mary Jane - Feng Shui Yoga Girls -

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Journey of Yoga is Like the Lotus Flower

Photo by Mary Jane Kasliner

The story about the lotus flower begins with Vishnu, the second god in the Hindu triumvirate responsible for creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. Legend has it, when it was time for creation to begin, a lotus flower began to sprout from Vishu's navel. Interesting point where the lotus began to sprout - the same portal where the fetus feeds from the mother in the womb.

The story continues how the lotus flower opened to reveal the four faces of Brahma - the god of creation. Four is a powerful number referring to the four cardinal directions or heavenly points. From the petals, the sound of the universe (OM) was expressed. Om is the sound of all knowing, all potential and possibilities. The seat for this sound is sustained in the lotus flower which represents purity and enlightenment.

The lotus plant embeds its roots into the mud, the murkiest soil of the earth. It begins its journey beneath the water and perseveres to rise up above the mud to seek the light from the sun. When the shoot catches the beautiful rays of the sun, it blossoms.

The path of the yogi is not unlike that of the lotus. We are entrenched in the earth and experience the mud through the mundane aspects of our lives; the bills that need to be paid, illness, tension, anxiety and the constant need to perform. Yoga promises that with enough patience and fortitude, we will rise from the murky waters and experience our authentic being - the purity of our spirit that lies within. It's a journey that can't be rushed, but certainly worth the wait.

Mary Jane - Feng Shui Yoga Girl -

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