Get Moving!

Sunday, February 23, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 4:53 PM
Hello Fellow Yogi's-


   This week I started teaching in my new Home town! And it was so wonderful to be sharing yoga with others again! I currently have 2 Yoga classes at the Town of Leland Annex building. I am offering an All levels class Tuesday evenings 6:30-7:30 and a Gentle Yoga class on Wednesday mornings 11-Noon. If you are interested please contact Amy at the Parks Dept. via their website www.townofleland.com .

   So this 6 weeks is focusing on the Kapha season and thought I would share a bit of what we have been working on every week to help you out this season. This first week we are working on Getting Moving! We are wrapping up on winter and are headed into our spring season and according to Ayurveda (the sister science to yoga) this time of year we tend to feel heavy and lethargic and find it difficult to get ourselves active after winter. But ACTIVE is exactly what we need right now. In order to feel our best we need to step up our pace up abit. Maybe getting up earlier than usual, take time in the morning to sneak in our yoga practice or an early run or walk or whatever lights your fire! Making change to our diet, eating lighter foods, lots of water to flush out the toxins of the winter.

   In class this week we practiced a pranayama (breathing exercise) that helped to build the fire internally to help motivate us in the direction of action and promote cleansing and detoxification. Here is some instruction on practicing Ujjayi Breath (Victorious Breath) at home maybe for a few minutes in a seated position or during your yoga practice. Hope it inspires the fire within! Enjoy.


Ujjayi Breath-(Victorious Breath)

This pranayama is used to energize our being as well as soothe. It helps to stimulate the nadis (energy channels) in our body, cleanse the sinus cavity, stoke the fire in the belly; creating heat and give us a sound to focus on in our practice,(Dharana). This powerful pranayama when practiced consistently helps transform our practice and life, for that matter!

Begin seated (whatever way is most comfortable in your body). Erecting the spine so that you feel tall and the heart is lifted and open. Hands rest gently on your lap. Inhale and exhale a few times through your nostrils just focusing on your natural breathing pattern. Then beginning ujjayi with your next inhalation draw the breath into both lungs slow and evenly, filling yourself full. As you exhale breath out like you are fogging a mirror through your nose. Making a haaa sound through the nose. You should feel the back of the throat constrict a bit to help create this sound. The sound should be smooth and ocean like. If it sounds more like a rattle you are trying too hard. Ease off a bit and make it smooth and long. Continue this breath for several minutes. Focusing on the flow and sound of the breath. After a few minutes  you can return back to your normal breathing or if you are continuing with your yoga practice incorporate it in the with the postures. This will help you to keep the focus on the what is happening in the moment. Creating meditation in motion!!

Cautions: If you feel strain at all during your breathing practice just release the technique and return to normal breathing.


So give it a try and get yourself up and moving to this spring season! You will be happy you did!

Love!!!



Jess





BRING JOY INTO SPRING!

Friday, February 14, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 2:58 PM
 Happy Valentine's Day friends! I know this day can be 50/50 for people. Some love it and some not so much.  So for you with the "not so much", and of course, you with the love, I thought I would share a practice that could help brighten up your day!

Spring is right around the corner; and the end of winter can feel like a life time away. I hear alot of people talk of the winter blues, and I myself (originally from the midwest) know all about it. This in between of winter/spring can be a challenging time mentally and physically if we don't work with the season. According to Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga; this is Kapha Season (pronounced Cup-pa).(to learn more about Kapha and the other doshas your friendly search engine would be happy to find you all you need to know!)  Kapha season is the season for cold, moist and heavy. Because during winter we tend to stay indoors more, eat more grounding foods to insulate from the cold, and generally just not be as active; we tend to accumulate Kapha in the body and we can get too much. This leads to imbalance. We may feel depressed, lethargic, lazy, build up of mucus (spring colds, and allergies) and feel just plain stuck. So in order to find balance we need to do the opposite of those qualities. We need to get moving!! Eat lighter foods and get the energy back into our beings!  So this simple practice should help get the fire started!

The practice is called Breath of Joy. It is a Tibetan pranayama (breathing practice) to help bring more oxygen/energy into the body which in yoga is called prana. Prana is what gives us life. With out it we are just a bag of bones. So this practice will bring lots of prana in giving you a rush of joy and energy. This you can practice by itself or add to your regular yoga practice. It's a great way to start the day or when you have the afternoon slump.

You begin standing with feet hip width apart. Take a quick sip of an inhale, through your nose, as you bring your arms over head. Then another sip of an inhale as you open your arms wide. Now one last inhale as you bring your arms over head again. Exhale as you bend your knees and fold forward swinging your arms back behind you. As you exhale, saying "HA" through the mouth to let go of all that stale air in the lungs. Then doing that all again! Repeat several time, maybe even 20! Whatever feels good! ( just listen to your body, making sure you are not feeling dizzy. If so stop and stand in Tadasana (mountain pose) breathing deeply)  After several rounds stand in Tadasana to feel the effects throughout your body. Feeling your Joy!
                                                           


                                                               BREATH OF JOY
                                                            Inhale through the nose

                                                             Inhale through the nose

                                                              Inhale through the nose

                                                        Exhale through the mouth "HA"

Benefits to this practice are:

-Inhalation brings lots of oxygen into the body and brain
-Exhalation helps to detoxify the respiratory system
-With the movement of the arms it encourages a deeper inhalation
-Strengthens arms and shoulders
-Energizes your entire being
-Gives you a feeling of joy
-Makes you smile

Contraindications:

-If you have low blood pressure, practice slowly and bend less deeply on the final exhalation. Practice less repetitions.
-This practice is not recommended for anyone with untreated high blood pressure, heart disease or any injuries of the head (such as migraines, glaucoma, or vertigo)
-If you have low back pain minimize torso movement and go at a more slow and gentle pace.
-If you get dizzy move slowly and do not bring your head low.

As you practice let the feeling of playfulness enter the pose. Allowing the the full expression of Joy.  Winter won't feel so long when we are full on Joy!! Happy Spring!

Enjoy!

Jess

Need a Life Coach?? I have the one for you!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 4:59 PM
Well I wanted to give a shout out for my good friend Bernadette, who has finally decided to offer her services to the world! She a is a Life Coach; and I can't think of anyone better! I have known her for several years and she is my go to person for  a good sound perspective to any situation I may be having. She is probably the most positive person I have ever known and usually helps me to see the sunny side of my problems. She is someone who has had her own life trials and has came out the other side a better,  more grounded and balanced human. Her credentials are too much for me to list here so take a look on her website www.bernadettegleeson.com   Sooo if you need a little help in a positive direction give her a call. She works via phone and skype.


Enjoy your journey!

Love!
Jess

Yoga Classes @ Leland's Parks and Recreation

Thursday, February 6, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 10:51 AM
Happy February Everyone! Wanted to share my current teaching schedule with you!

I will be teaching 2 Yoga classes at Leland Parks and Recreation - www.townofleland.com. Classes will begin Mid February and run for 6 weeks each.

 All Levels Yoga begins February 18th 6:30-7:30 pm. on Tuesdays.

Gentle Yoga begins February 19th 11-Noon on Wednesdays.

Cost is $72 for 6 weeks. You can print off the registration form on their website or call the Parks Dept.

Can't wait to share yoga's gift with you!!

(please bring yoga mat, and large towel or blanket to class)

Any questions please feel free to email me! jessburkettyoga@gmail.com