Thursday, March 31, 2011
Please vote me and this beautiful photo onto the cover of Yoga Journal Magazine! All you need to do is click the link below:
"One vote, per day, per entry will be counted - multiple votes per day will be disqualified and removed."
Thanks for your support!
Monday, March 21, 2011
The yogis and nutritionist both agree that it is never too late, or too early, to consider sequencing your life today for a healthier tomorrow. I think of sequencing as both an art form and a science that anyone can master. All you need is sincere focus and attention from the beginning to the end of your vision, and trust in your body’s innate wisdom to guide you through the beautiful moment-to-moment discovery of presence—of the now—which leads to the spontaneous, blissful experience we call yoga.
I believe the more you practice adapting to new routines and seasonally breaking the momentum of habits before they become addictions, the stronger, healthier, and more open you become as a person. Instead of your world feeling boxed in by your routine, the seasonal changes help you widen your gaze so you experience more in life, seeing new potentials and possibilities in your work, family, diet, adventures, and exercise routines that connect to the revolving world around you.
In the end, the practice of yoga—on the mat and off the mat—is really all about practice. Practice will lead you to your truth, to the essence of who you are.
Here are just a few of the spring practices from my new book, Art of Sequencing – Volume Two, to weave into your day, week, or monthly routines:
Drink hot lemon water with a little salt in the morning to stimulate elimination.
· Meditate for 5 to 30 minutes (on melting glaciers, the image of vibrant green plant life, or new intentions).
· Exercise outdoors or do a vigorous yoga practice to break a sweat every day, with no exception. In addition to physical workouts, a steam sauna or hot tub can help release toxins.
· Try an elimination diet for two weeks (see appendix).
· In general, spring is the time to decrease heavy, oily, cold, fat-rich foods such as meat, seafood, poultry, dairy products, and foods cooked in oil. Increase your intake of foods that are bitter (like arugula), spicy (like radish), and astringent (like grapefruit) to promote cleansing of the liver, digestive organs, and blood.
· With “spring fever” in the air, it’s a great time to start new projects, take classes, plant seeds, and travel, while the energy is there for the taking.
· Practice inversions to turn your world and organs upside down. Think of your body like a jug of orange juice. If it sits in one position—upright—for too long, the pulp ends up settling to the bottom of the container. The yogis believe the same thing happens in our bodies, particularly in the organs. The pulp in this case is undigested, inorganic matter that we ingest through the air we breathe or food we eat. By flipping your body upside down, you create a gentle cleanse, where toxins or waste products get pulled by gravity from deep inside your tissues towards the center of the body. With sufficient hydration and exercise, these toxins can move out through the skin (via perspiration), exhaled breaths, urination, and bowel movements.
Read more about seasonal practices in the Art of Sequencing - Volume Two
Thursday, March 17, 2011
In traditional Chinese medicine, the passing of winter is seen as a great time to start sending some extra love and attention to the liver and gallbladder, organs that tend to get overloaded with extra socializing, large meals, decreased exercise, inadequate rest, and other behaviors typically associated with that time of the year. These two organs are extremely beneficial: they filter toxins from the external environment and the food that we eat; aid in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat, and protein; break down fats in the body; and, on a more bio-energetic level, process emotions like anger.
For starters, try incorporating an inversion into your daily routine (Examples: Headstand, Handstand, Downward Dog, Standing Forward Folds, Shoulderstand).
Here is one asana tip from my recent book, Art of Sequencing - Volume Two:
• Inversions to turn your world and organs upside down. Think of your body like a jug of orange juice. If it sits in one position—upright—for too long, the pulp ends up settling to the bottom of the container. The yogis believe the same thing happens in our bodies, particularly in the organs. The pulp in this case is undigested, inorganic matter that we ingest through the air we breathe or food we eat. By flipping your body upside down, you create a gentle cleanse, where toxins or waste products get pulled by gravity from deep inside your tissues towards the center of the body. With sufficient hydration and exercise, these toxins can move out through the skin (via perspiration), exhaled breaths, urination, and bowel movements.
If you are looking for Spring retreats, check out: www.melinameza.com
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Within the art of Ayurveda, there will never be one remedy or one sequence that brings everyone or their dosha back into alignment. The response to every inquiry about your health should be “It depends,” as my teacher, Dr. Robert Svoboda, was so fond of saying. The mantra of “It depends” teaches you to see the interconnectedness between you and your lifestyle, how changing one facet of your routine will affect another. It’s a friendly reminder that humans in general are complex, and it’s wise to look at or diagnose the body/mind/soul from many angles.
To start early spring cleaning, consider adding the following pranayama practices from Art of Sequencing – Volume Two, to your daily routine:
· Kapala bhati—also known as “skull shining”—to reduce weight gain, bring heat to the chest, and to promote strong agni and mental alertness. (Do not do this if you are menstruating. Menstruation is considered a natural cleanse for women.)
· Agni sara, to prevent stagnation in the organs and promote blood circulation. From a standing position, separate your feet hip-distance apart, and bend your knees while resting your hands on the lower part of your thighs. Exhale completely to create Mula bandha (root lock) and Uddiyana bandha (upward flying, diaphragmic lift). After your exhale, quickly pull your pelvic floor muscles inward and upward towards your diaphragm until you feel your deep core muscles. Keep holding your breath while your diaphragm, abdominal organs, and pelvic floor pulse quickly back and forth away from your spine. Relax all of your muscles before you take your next breath.