Archive | August, 2010

Ep 83- 25 Minute Meditation: Finding Your Center In Difficult Situations

30 Aug

Space- Artwork for Ep. 83 of Elsie's Yoga Class

These past few months I nearly got overwhelmed by anxiety.

This hasn’t happened to me in a LONG time.

I lost control of my rational thought process and simply dove into a feeling that was suffocating and terrifying. I can’t say that I was in any way comfortable. The only thing that pulled me out of it was my toddler Hunter. She forced me to get out of myself and engage her. The moment that I disconnected from her off I went into a very uncomfortable sense of overwhelm.

I refused this.

Take Control of Your Anxiety and Fear

Instead of allowing myself to be pulled by this avalanche of anxiety and fear I chose to meet it, with softness and full consciousness. I looked at it straight in the eye. I used a technique that I heard in a podcast, and I sooooo wish that I remembered what episode and what this guy’s name was because I would share it, believe me, but at this moment, finding the episode would take me YEARS, so that will wait. I may update this post to add the info.

Anyway, the technique was to feel where the emotion was in my body, fully. You are to notice which was its winding, clock wise or counter clock wise, and slowly unwind the feeling the other way until it dissolves. At first just moving into that hard ball of tension in the middle of my diaphragm was enough…but as I practiced this technique I began to see that I could literally unravel the anxiety!

Unraveling- It’s all about creating space, space to feel, to choose, to remember, and to find your ground. Most importantly, finding space helps you remember that you are part of something so much bigger. Anxiety is about disconnection and isolation. It’s an emotion that rises when you absolutely become limited and small. As you unravel the feeling, you begin to get more spacious, there is literally more room in your body, your breath, your mind, your heart, and you can step back a bit and see things as if you are watching from a bird’s eye view.

You are ok. You truly are. You are more than ok in fact 😀

A couple of days ago I received and email from one of you requesting a more breathing centered practice. Although this simple audio meditation is not specifically about the breath, there is no way to escape the breath. Space is breath.

Every time choose to center myself and incorporate this very accessible and easy meditation practice, you get the opportunity to re-attune yourself to align with something more than anxiety and fear.

I want that!

Listen, practice and do this and tell me what happens! I’d love to hear if this works for you

.
listen here button
subscribe120x40

Do you have any techniques for dealing with anxiety and challenging situations?

Remember I’m here to serve you, so feel free to comment and tell me if meditations like this offer you support and ease 😀

BTW, the following is the song that I used in the meditation. Was that not the most beautiful song?

Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai Sampler, Vol. 1-4Kitaro
“South Wind” (mp3)
from “Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai Sampler, Vol. 1-4”
(Domo Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Advertisements

Labor Day Yoga Class in Pittsburgh: September 6, 2010 6pm

27 Aug

pittsburgh mount washington yoga picture

When was the last time that you thought of your work as sacred and meaningful?

How do you view work?

For a long time I thought that work was my job. I fell into the very well known habit of griping and complaining about my job pretty often. I began to dread waking up in the morning, knowing that I HAD to go to my job. While I was in my job I longed to be anywhere else but there…

I’m sure you’ve had this feeling at least once.

It wasn’t until I shifted my perspective from job to work that I began to honor what I did every day, all day long, not *just* at my job. I recognized that when I worked, when I engaged fully in my life, with a great sense of connection to not just with myself but to something much greater, an abundant sense of ease ensued.

Work as Service

The strong connection was highlighted when I truly understood Work as Service.

Labor Day was established to honor just that- service.

It began as a way to celebrate, honor and give a voice to the working class. The working class are producers and providers of services. The working class are those that engage in work that demands full engagement of their physical bodies, and a deep immersion into the concrete world around them. They are the embodied foundation of society.

When I view my work as carefully and consciously laying the foundation of my family’s and my life, its accomplishment becomes a sacred endeavor.

Come join me as we celebrate you, the worker, through a fun, inspiring and rejuvenative yoga practice on Labor Day.

Let’s get ready to welcome September and happily begin to transition into Fall 🙂

Observe Your Foundation and Serve Joyfully
A Labor Day Practice

Where: The Yoga Cave- 758 Rebecca Ave, Ground Floor, Pittsburgh, 15221
When: September 6, 2010 6-7:30 pm

$10 on or before 9/6 (online purchase)

Add to Cart

or

$15 at the door (cash, check or CC accepted!)

I have very limited mats and props, make sure you come stocked with your own yoga gear 🙂

I look forward to seeing you 🙂

Oh! Please feel free to bring a friend!

Five Essential Beginner Yoga Books For Women To Buy And Start To Their Yoga Education (Video)

21 Aug

Ladies! Build Your Yoga Education At Home 🙂

I know when I first got into yoga the FIRST thing I did was to buy a book. I’m a fiend when it comes to books 🙂

The thing is that there are so many yoga books out there and I had no idea which were the best yoga books to buy, let alone yoga books that were accessible and not too full of yoga jargon with concepts that at that time, I wasn’t ready to digest.

I’ve decided to offer you some of my favorite yoga books for you to buy (or borrow from the Library. I’m a huge Library proponent) in order to enhance your yoga and health know-how! I have to disclose fully that they do have a bit of a female bias, but for my male subscribers, you’ll still find a wealth of information applicable to both men and women.

This whole thing was inspired by the crazy amount of emails that I get asking for advice about this very subject 🙂

Here’s the latest email from one of you lovely folks:

I am a beginner at yoga and just subscribed to your podcasts. I am interested in reading more about yoga and was wondering if there are any books you would recommend?

You can refer to the video above for a more in depth description of why I chose these books, but I’m linking to all the books that I mention below. All links to these books are using my Amazon Affiliate links, which will give me a little bit of cash to buy even more yoga books 😉 Wouldn’t you like to support my yoga reading habits?

yoga for women's health

The Women’s Book of Yoga and Health by Linda Sparrowe and Patricia Walden

This is one of my all time favorites! I use it for reference all the time. This is a MUST for your yoga library.

relaxation and stress relief yoga book

Relax and Renew by Judith Lasater

I was able to build a restorative yoga practice at home following some of her sequences. So much great information.

Anusara Yoga philosophy book

Yoga From The Inside Out: Making Peace With Your Body Through Yoga by Christina Sell

I have more sticky notes in this book than in any other book in my Yoga Library! Sometimes I just open it and use one of Christina’s sentences to inspire an entire class 😀

ayurveda for women's health

Ayurveda For Women by Dr. Robert Svoboda

This was the first Ayurveda book that I bought. I now a own a bunch more by Dr. Svoboda and have learned tons about this incredible way of life.

mother and daughter wisdom

Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Creating a Legacy of Physical and Emotional Health by Christiane Northrup

I bought this book when I found out I was pregnant. At first I thought that it was meant to be a book for mother’s of daughters but then I realized that it was a book for daughters. All women are daughters. All women have mothers, living, dead or absent. I guarantee that you will be inspired by what you read in this book and how it can help you be as healthy as you can be.

Do you have any books to add to this list?

Please share them in the comments below! I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s looking to build her yoga library 😉

Beginner Yoga Advice: Benefits For Knee Joint Health and Weight Loss

16 Aug

I got a comment here on my blog and instead of simply writing him back I decided to give a video answer!

The question was all about knee health and whether or not yoga is good for weight loss.

I started a running program 3 weeks ago but only succeeded in aggravating a knee/patella (kneecap).  my running days are over as I’m in extreme pain.
what, if any are the benefits of yoga on knees and joints as well as weight loss?

Knee Health and Yoga

Let’s talk about the knees and joints, here’s what yoga does:

  • Yoga creates the ability for your joints to remain stable
  • Yoga creates the ability for your joints to increase in stability
  • Yoga incorporates the muscles around the joints, increases their strength to create this stability within the joint.
  • Through proper alignment and action, yoga helps maintain optimal blood flow and proper lubrication within joints for more effective movement and overall health.

Due to anatomical/biomechanical issues in our bodies, either due to habitual patterns, injuries or genetics certain joints may become more prone to injury. The knee joint is a highly movable joint that often times gets easily aggravated and misaligned. Through proper alignment and action within yoga postures one is able to create the possibility to strengthen, re-align and perhaps even heal an challenging knee.

Please remember that this is possible when one practices consistently, consciously and with a qualified teacher to guide the student to become more adept at moving into their optimal blueprint. Any kind of knee therapy requires work and diligence.

The majority of public yoga classes are fast moving where focus on alignment is at times glossed over. If you are working with a knee injury, and are new to yoga, I would search to find the best qualified teacher to practice with, attend classes that have a slow pace and incorporate lots of optimal alignment and action within the poses.

Yoga and Weight Loss

As we all know, one needs to ingest less calories that one burns in order to loose weight. This is best achieved by doing aerobic exercise.

Yoga is not an aerobic exercise.

It can certainly get your heart beating fast. It will make you sweat. At times it you may even get out of breath. You certainly will massage and work your internal organs such as your heart and your lungs. You will burn calories. You will tone your muscles.

These are some pretty awesome benefits to the practice. Given those benefits having yoga be a part of your weight loss routine is key toward weight loss maintenance, but in and of itself, I don’t believe asana itself can make you loose weight.

Yoga will give you greater insights of your mind body and heart. Yoga will push you to places that may at times prove to be quite uncomfortable. Yoga will force you to make choices. Yoga will offer you new ways of seeing the world.

All of these things are great assets toward being a healthy human being, from the inside out. When you choose to practice yoga you will inevitable begin to make better and better choices for yourself, and one of those choices can be living within your optimal weight and being the best that you can be!

So there you go, those are my thoughts about knee joint benefits and weight loss from a yogic perspective!

What do you think? Do you have anything to add?