Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Top 10 Winter Vinyasa Tips

Top 10 Winter Vinyasa Tips
1. Adjust your day-to-day choices to align with what is occurring outside in nature.
2. Figure out your dosha to increase your awareness of physical and mental strengths/challenges during this season.
3. Daily ritual begins with getting up early and looking in the mirror to monitor your health.
4. Adjust daily routine based on how your skin, tongue, and eyes appear in the morning!
5. Eat your big meal in the middle of day (healthy high fat and oily foods).
6. Take a hot bath or shower to unwind and decrease stress vs. drinking wine or eating sugar.
7. Keep strong "jatharagni" by eating only when you are hungry.
8. Keep stong "pranagni" by doing yoga asanas and deep breathing.
9. Keep strong "managni" by meditating and spending time in nature away from artificial stimulation.
10. Awaken your "hridaya", spiritual heart with fire ceremonies and chanting or singing.

Melina Meza

Winter Vinyasa - Asana Practice with Melina Meza

Here's what I'm teaching this week:
Virasana with shoulder openers (pg. 19 A.O.S. book)
Virasana with Gomukasana arms
Cat/Cow into with Lion's breath!
Down Dog to Uttanasana
Uddiyana Bandha and Kapala bhati
Prasaritta Padottanasana - regular
Prasaritta Padottansana E (pg. 38)
Surya Namaskar A variation: with low lunge and twist
Surya Namaskar B variation: twisting chair, warrior one, lunge with head at ankle (pg. 37)
Garudasana - repeat a few times
Prasaritta Padottansana with deep twist
Down Dog - Vinyasa to stay warm
Dhanurasana with strap (pg. 59)
Balasana - child's pose
Sirsasana - headstand
Ardha Matysasana - Purvottanasana with bent legs after both sides
Marichyasana B (pg. 53) - Purvottanasana with straight legs after both sides
Savasana - brief
Sukkhasana - Right nostril breathing


If you don't have your copy of Art of Sequencing, you can purchase it on my website by clicking the link:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seasonal Vinyasa - Winter You Tube Videos 1 & 2



Winter sequences in general should be rhythmic, warming, and invigorating. Try to find the right tempo to practice these suggested postures to increase your metabolism and circulation. What I offer in this You Tube video is a fast-forward version of poses I teach in classes. This does not reflect the whole class, just some winter friendly poses I'm currently teaching. Have fun! Filmed at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers, Seattle, on a sunny day!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tapas - Part One with Melina Meza

Tapas: To cook or transform; heat; passion; to glow; the creative incubation phase; enthusiasm; asceticism.

Part One: Tapas is Step One in Kriya Yoga
Tapas is found in both the three-fold process of Kriya yoga and the Niyamas. Consider tapas as a catalyst or spark to initiate, as well as maintain, the energy for creativity, new beginnings, physical, emotional, and mental transformations; or alternately, as the electrical juice to overcome habits that are no longer beneficial.

Tapas in the Modern World
Living in harmony with nature means you embrace the changing world around you in all its seasons, ages, and states, including suffering and destruction, as well as, joy and renewal. If you are willing to truly embrace all the phases of life, then tapas will be a warm nudge to help you stoke the fire of inspiration and engage in the world as a dynamic participant rather than a static bystander. This first step of Kriya requires energy in the form of intention, enthusiasm, commitment, or passion. These act as catalysts to propel your creative endeavor—whether your wellness plan, art project, vegetable garden, or yoga practice—forward. This passion fires the creative muse in you to dream up endless possibilities. It’s the energy that inspires the farmer to envision a bountiful harvest, a parent to trust they are doing their best, and a yogi to organically detach from worldly desires.

Working with Tapas
Everyone needs a different amount of time, inspiration, incentive, pressure, and heat to prepare for the creative incubation phase. Start by accepting what stage of life (student, householder, retirement, or renunciate) you are in. While keeping in mind the particular demands of your life, look at any undesirable behavioral patterns, habits, or attachments you have and consider removing just one to help you change, enhance, or grow into a more conscious being. What is currently occupying your life energy (getting through college, raising children, planning your retirement), which part of yourself is likely to go out of balance (i.e., diet, spending habits, travel), and consider whether you have any goals on the horizon for the near future (graduation, exercising three times a week, buying a new car, or taking a vacation). This is where the “heat” and passion come into support your intention and keep you on track and motivated.

In my teaching experience, I’ve noticed the student must be truly enthusiastic about constructing change in their life or else nothing new will manifest. With that said, whatever lifestyle change you are willing to consider right now, make sure it is within reason and that you can accomplish it with very little discipline or support. It’s important that you succeed in your first experiments in order to build tapas for the more stubborn habits and behavior patterns down the road. For example if you wanted to add mediation to your daily practice, you would try and sit for five minutes a day rather than for twenty minutes. After successfully sitting for five minutes a day for two weeks, increase your time to ten minutes a day. Pay attention to the things you resist, they may be your most potent teachers.

At its root, Kriya yoga will help you find the insight and strength to compassionately reign in your mind and your energy from the objects or habits that have taken away or reduced your sense of power or happiness.

Next week: Part Two or read the whole article now: http://www.melinameza.com/Yoga_Articles.html

Monday, January 11, 2010

Seasonal Vinyasa - Winter Asana Sequence

Here's what we will be working on this week in my class...
1. Gayatri Mantra
2. Supported pranayama - Samavrtti (even breath ratio)
3. Neck and Chest move (p. 18 in Art of Sequencing book)
4. Abdominal crunches
5. Supta Padangustasana & Twist
6. Cakravakasana with lion breath
7. Down dog and Uttanasana on tippie toes
8. Uddiyana bandha
9. Squat
10. Straddle/Horse with Kapala Bhati breathing
11. Wide squat
12. Prasaritta Padottanasana
13. Surya Namaskar A with Salabhasana variation (p. 68 in Art of Sequencing)
14. Surya Namaskar B with revolved chair pose and high lunges
15. Parvottanasana - Parvritta Trikonasana - Prasaritta Padottansana variation - repeat
16. Handstand
17. Haunmanasana
18. Ustrasana
19. Tiryan Mukhaikapada Pascimottanasana - Purvottanasana variation w/ front knee down
20. Balansa or Mayurasana
21. Urdhva Dhanurasana Prep or full pose
22. Halasana
23. Sarvangasana
24. Closing poses....depends on the day!
Hope to see you in class. You can reference more of these poses in my book, Art of Sequencing, plus 34 additional classes to inspire your teaching or home practice.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rumi and Esalen

"Keep walking, though there's no place to get to. Don't try to see through the distance. That's not for human begins. Move within, but don't move the way fear makes you move." Rumi

I'll be teaching my first yoga retreat at Esalen in Big Sur, California, September 19-24, 2010. It's a dream come true, the place is amazing. I hope you can join me and special friends Tamara Newmoon and Benjamin Fahrer. More details coming soon...

Melina Meza Retreats: