Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Seasonal Vinyasa - Winter & Kapha

One of the main sutras in Ayurveda is "like increase like". During the winter (kapha season), when it is cold, damp, and dark outside, it is easy to feel heavy, lethargic, or depressed, like increase like. To help decrease kapha accumulation in your body, it is wise to keep your body moving, avoid naps, or over eating to minimize weight gain, depression, and the common cold.

This week I've been teaching the following sequence to help move away from the kapha conditions and toward vata (air, wind) to promote better circulation.

Part of class:
Supported pranayama with bolster (hold breath after inhale)
Tadaka Mudra
Supta Padangusthasana
Abdominal work
Cat/Cow to Downdog doing lion breath
Uttanasana on your tippie toes
Wide leg squats
Sun Salutes A and B (with twisting chair)
Warrior 2, Side Angle with arms bind
Prasarita Padottanasana
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
Hanumanasana (low lunge prep)
Forward Bends....

If you don't know what these poses are...consider investing in my book called, Art of Sequencing as a reference! Stay tuned for more Winter suggestions next week.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Seasonal Vinyasa - Winter and New Year

Happy Holidays!
If your life got thrown off balance during the holidays with social events, late nights, extreme weather conditions, or work commitments, its best to jump back into your normal routine as quickly as possible, before the new year! I'll be teaching my regular Monday-Wednesday schedule in Seattle, I hope to see you in class.

To help promote cleansing post-new year, here are a few ideas to get started:

1. Eat Kichadi (mung bean and rice dish) for a one to three days to give your digestive track a rest and strengthen your inner "agni" or digestive potential.

2. Take Triphala for six weeks, twice a day. Triphala is designed to promote your body's natural cleansing process. It's made up of three Indian herbal fruits: harada, amla, and behada.

3. Register for one of my winter sequencing classes at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers 206-325-8221 (January 23) or Twist Vinyasa in Edmonds 425-778-YOGA (January 24)

For more asana inspiration check out my Art of Sequencing book or Yoga for the Seasons DVD:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice!

"It's like a bright light shining in a dark room.
When you see bright light you see the darkness around it at the same time, and the more darkness you see, that much brighter the light becomes

May the darkness of today allow us to see the brilliance more clearly".

Happy Solstice,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter Remedies - Melina Meza

What can you do to stay healthy during the winter?
1. Increase your physical exercise
2. Stay hydrated with warm beverages
3. Add omega-3 rich foods to your diet
4. Rub sesame oil on your body before showering
5. Avoid foaming soaps - they dry out your skin
6. Apply honey to your face, leave on 10 minutes, rinse with warm water
7. Meditate, take time for reflection
8. Practice visualization exercises, draw from your inner muse
9. Moderation with sugar, alcohol, and coffee
10. Sleep like a bear - retreat

Yoga Retreats for 2010:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Seasonal Vinyasa - Winter!

With temperatures well below 30 degrees in Seattle, it's time to start the winter sequencing. Keep in mind that the winter flow is to help raise your core temperature and increase circulation, not to exhaust you! For starters, consider adding a strong vinyasa component to your practice to warm you up and lift your spirits, back bends to stimulate the kidneys, forward bends to stimulate the bladder, and breath retention after inhale to warm the lungs.

In classes this week here is what I will be emphasizing:
Supported pranayama with a bolster under the ribs. Lace your fingers together to hold your head our use a blanket.
Roll to the side with a bolster under the ribs, lateral bend
Supta Baddha Konasana with fingers laced around the back of the head, flow into abdominal crunch
Setu Bandha (bridge) in/out with arm movements
Navasana, roll back and forth on spine
Balance on all fours with R leg, L arm lifted, exhale pull both toward navel, round spine- repeat
Uttanasana (forward bend) to Utkatasana (chair)

Surya Namaskar (sun salutes): with raised leg in Uttanasana, step back to high lunge, plank with one leg lifted, Bhujangasana (cobra), plank, Down dog with one leg lifted, high lunge second side

Natarajasana Prep (dancing shiva)

Trikonasana (triangle) with lateral/neck focus, arm movements over head
Ardha Chandrasana (half moon) with back bend option
Prasaritta Padottanasana (wide leg forward bend)

Ustrasana Prep (camel)
Supta Virasana (reclined heros)
Sirsasana (head stand)
Balasana (childs)
Baddha Konasana (cobblers)
Upavista Konasana (seated wide leg forward bend)
Pascimottansana flow rolling back to the floor, abdominal work
Thread the Needle with head turned to the side
Gentle Halasana (plough)
Anything else?

Stay tuned for more Seasonal Vinyasa tips. My DVD, Yoga for the Seasons, can be purchased on my website for more asana support during the holidays.