Balancing on the arms promotes instant concentration into the present moment and can develop one’s sense of self-confidence. It also directly affects the cardio-pulmonary nerve plexus, the sinuses, eyesight,inner-circular canals of the ears and one’s equilibrium. Combined, these yogasanas are not only challenging but also fun and deeply satisfying to the practitioner.
Cultivate your strength, steadiness and focus by standing on your hands and taking a different look at things – upside down. An inversion is when the brain is lower than the heart and this causes a shift in the Qi flow, circulation of blood, and other fluids in the organism. This influences the chakras: annahata at the heart (air element), vishuddha at the throat (ether elemet), ajna at the mind’s eye (light/sound elements) and sahasrara at the halo (celestial element).
BASIC QI GONG
Practice the foundations of this ancient health practice to:
- release muscular tension
- exercise with relaxation
- increase circulation
- improve balance
- breathe better
Qi Gong (Chi Kung) is a Chinese yoga that focuses on the awareness of bodily alignment, respiration and movement for the development of physical, mental and spiritual health. It has aspects and insights derived from Gong Fu (Kung Fu), Daoism (Taoism), Traditional Chinese Medicine and Buddhism. Comparable to traditional Indian yoga, movements and poses of qi gong are of a ‘harder’ or ‘softer’ style. All, focus on the body’s electromagnetic system, aka Qi.
CORE STRENGTH (via the HARA)
Create a deeper connection to core strength to:
- increase physical performance
- integrate movement patterns better
- sense the visceral layers of the belly
- implement abdominal breathing for calm
- become aware of the ‘gut-brain’ connection
The hara is the core that affects the human body both physically and energetically. Strength of this area does not necessarily mean physical, it actually can be more subtle and specific. Hara is a Japanese word that is defined as ‘belly,’ ‘center’ or ‘one-point.’ All movement – whether it is walking down the street, playing sports or even sweeping with a broom – is enhanced with the hara.
FUNDAMENTALS of MINDFUL MEDIATION (aka VIPASSANA)
Cultivate a simple sitting meditation practice by:
- choice of props aka blankets, bolsters or cushions
- relaxed alignment of the body
- uncomplicated instruction
- discussion and sharing
- tea and snacks
Vipassana is one of the world’s oldest forms of meditation. It has been defined as ‘insight arising,’ ‘insight meditation,’ ‘mindfulness meditation’ and ‘mindfulness.’ It is a practice that is simple and accessible to anyone at any time. This class will go over the fundamentals for the meditator to slow down, tune in and accept and respect their unique process.
Participants will explore therapeutic yoga techniques designed to:
- alleviate hip, back, thigh and sciatic pain
- improve ease of physical movement
- increase circulation of blood to the digestive & sexual organs
- benefit the respiratory system from hip flexor release
- plus more
In this therapeutic yoga session, participants will focus on specific movements, stretches and asanas that help bring balance to the twenty-two muscles that are connected with this very important area of the human body. In the Ayruvedic perspective, the anatomy of the hips is associated with the 2nd chakra (swadisthana) and the element of water. So, the hips will often dictate how ‘fluid’ one can move. Some persons might have hips that appear to move only in one particular ‘current,’ while others might have hips that appear to be ‘frozen.’
‘The hips are not only the place for the legs to pivot from, but are also the base that cradles the upper body.’ – Daniel Hickman (fyi – this is my most plagiarized quote)
MOVEMENT & ALIGNMENT CHOICES in the YOGA ASANAS
Learn about movement and alignment choices in the yoga asanas (postures) by way of:
- the seven directions of the spine
- the six major joints
- muscular flexion and release
- the three physio-energetic ‘locks’
- the best alignment for your body type
Study human structure and function and how it relates to your asana practice. We’ll look at the many choices that are available for alignment, and how it correlates with strengths and limitations, injury and vanity.
NECK CARE via the ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
Learn favorable exercises to:
- take care of the neck
- promote awareness
- release stress
- improve posture
- are easy to remember
The Alexander Technique can be applied when: using a tablet or computer, driving in a car or even when walking. There are simple and effective ideas and applications that can be practiced on the floor, sitting down and even when standing. Learn how to use these for yourself with ordinary props, like a book, towel, chair and the wall.
Explore movement schema and yogasana to:
- alleviate shoulder, upper back, chest and neck pain
- improve general posture
- bring awareness to the ’text neck’
- augment the cardio-pulmonary system
- boost rest & sleep
In this therapeutic yoga session, participants will focus on specific movements, stretches and asanas, that help bring balance to the forty-four muscles that are connected with this very important area of the human body. In the Ayruvedic perspective, the anatomy of the shoulders is associated with the 4th chakra (annahatta) and the element of air. So, the shoulders will often provide insight into how a person breathes and feels. Some persons might have more forward rounded shoulders (guarded) while others might have shoulders that are overly rolled back (arrogant).
‘The shoulders are not only the fulcrum for the arms, but the energetic location of protection and relaxation.’ – Daniel Hickman
TEND the MIND, CALM the SPIRIT
‘The mind is like a garden and must be cultivated or it will grow wild.’ – Zen Saying
In this two hour workshop you will be introduced to one of the deeper aims of the yogic path – the Witness Consciousness. This is sometimes referred to as ‘the higher self’ or ‘the big picture’. It is this place where an individual is able to experience life, from outside of a self-directed attention, to that which is greater than the self. This is from a place of non-judgement, non-manipulation and even one of non-reaction.
Learn to access this powerful tool by the application of drawing, writing, yogasana, pranayama and through the skills of contemplation and observation.
Please bring a journal.
Please bring some food or refreshments to share with the community.
Satsanga is often defined as a gathering of like minded folk looking to commune in the spirit of awareness. We come together to meditate, chant and open the floor for anyone to speak about what is on their mind or heart. It is a time to connect with each other via compassion, kindness and loving friendliness.