Monday, June 22, 2009

Mind, Body Soul-stice Collaborative Retreat

Although "Sol" was missing most of the day and replaced by thunder and lighting there was no shortage of good friends, food and activities.

Thank you everyone who came out to kick off this event. I hope to have more events and Eagle Nest Studio will continue to evolve. I'm very interested in any feedback from those that attended.

Great helping hands to fill out food table.

Walking Meditation was enjoyed by a few early on but then rained out. In theory this is a great time to walk but need rain gear or a change of clothes.

Share circle and introductions. This is was accompanied by loud rumbling thunder. (Side note: later when I got my numerology report it said: "You are like a lightning rod, attracting powerful ideas, intuitions, and even psychic information like unpredictable bolts." Hum!)

Gentle Yoga class for tender backs (Mine!) which included Sun and Moon Salutations.

Demo of instantly increasing strength.

Discussion on energy concentration (forgot the specific name).

Tips on core training using unstable surface.

Chakra balance series.

Break for food and split into groups for Reiki healing and Numerology.

The day wrapped up with water color painting of a vase of sun flowers to represent our missing sun.

Thank you to my talented friends, teachers and healers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Walking Meditation

This is a powerful tool that can be done anywhere. Traditionally a Labyrinth is used in which you wind your way to the center and then reverse your way back out.

I use a nature trail which consists of a loop which I reverse about half way. It's very intuitive but here are some phases I use.

1. Just start walking and tune into your body using a body scan. I start with my feet and work my way up to my head just observing my body. Transition the focus to the rhythm of your walk and finally to the breath.

2. Observe your thoughts and mentally set them aside on the trail. I use the motion of the walk to leave any negative thoughts behind.

3. Be present (in the NOW) and balance your external and internal attention. Observe (using all your senses) the physical location as well as your emotional state. I use affirmations at this point to direct my emotions and thoughts.

4. Welcome the thoughts that come up. I support with affirmations. End when you feel done.

I don't time myself but I consistently take 30 minutes. Your mileage may vary.

A good phrase your can repeat during the walk is:

“Yoga is a deep well into which we can tap drawing forth whatever we need to bring ourselves into wholeness and balance.”

Monday, January 7, 2008

Gratitude for the Day!

This series is a great way to end your day or anytime to cleanse your Chakra Centers. (10 - 15 minutes)

Start in any of the following seated positions:
Beginners – firm chair or therapy ball
Intermediate – cross leg on floor or mediation pillow
Advanced – Lotus position

We will be maintaining this position throughout so be comfortable and have room to move your upper body and arms.

For each chakra be mindful of their physical position, color, element and quality.

Root Chakra
Base of Spine – RED - Acceptance
Element Earth

Ujjayi breathing
Closing eyes – breathing through the nose focus on your breath until you have a nice rhythm of inhale = exhale (about 12 breaths).

Advanced - use mulabandha (root lock) with breath to generate a cleansing heat in the body.

Seated cat/cow
Exhale Cat position, rounding forward, tucking abs and chin
Inhale Cow position, lifting heart, sit bones back and gaze up.
Bring mobility to the spine. Repeat 5 –10 times.

Sacral Chakra
Below Navel – ORANGE- Creativity
Element Water

Trunk circles
Hanks on knees, Inhale sit tall
Exhale lean forward and circle to right
Inhale lean back and over to left then forward on the exhale
Continue to make circles with upper body then after 7 reverse and circle to the left.

Uddiyana Bandha
Inhale nice deep breath then exhale fully and completely drawing the lower belly inward and pelvis floor upward.
Hold for 3-5 seconds.
Inhale. Let breath return to normal. Repeat for 3 complete exhales.

Advanced –. Inhale nice deep breath then exhale fully drawing the lower belly inward and upward. Tuck the chin to seal air passage and relax the pelvic muscles. The chest vacuum should pull up the diaphragm.
Hold exhale retention phase 3-5 seconds.
Lift chin to allow inhale. GASP!
Let breath return to normal. Repeat 1-3 times.

Navel Chakra
Solar Plexus – YELLOW - Commitment
Element Fire

Abdominal work
Stoke the fires with some ab work, select your start position:
Chair – alternate knee lifts in marching motion, repeat 12-15 times.

Seated Cross legged – Boat pose. Hold for 3 breaths, Repeat 3 times.

Lotus pose – Lift off using hands at sides for support. Hold for 3 breaths, Repeat 3 times.

Belly breath
Resting hands on your belly take a deep breath in and feel your belly expand.
Acknowledge your commitment of doing the practice. (5-10 breaths)

Heart Chakra
Heart – GREEN - Gratitude
Element Air

Chest expansion
Inhale - arms out to side, gaze up, lift heart to open chest
Exhale – wrap arms to hug yourself, gaze at heart
Repeat 3-5 times

Gratitude Hands
Hands in Namaste (palms together) thumbs touching heart center of chest.
Open hands in front of you keeping little finger side together. Hands form a tray/bowl.
In your mind place the things you have gratitude for in your hands.
Close hands and return back to heart center.

Throat Chakra
Neck/Throat – BLUE - Truth
Element Sound

Lateral extension
Hands at sides, gaze at right hand.
Inhale - Lift arm to side until overhead. Eyes follow hand in arc until looking up
Exhale – lower arm back to side. Eyes continue the arc to other side until looking at left hand.
Repeat with left hand,.
Continue to alternate sides. Moving with the breath 3-5 times.

Lion's Breath
Inhale sit tall
Exhale lean forward, eyes roll up, open mouth wide, stick out touch and make a loud AHHH!
Now make an affirmation. What is your truth that you want to have happen? Verbalize this out loud!

Third Eye Chakra
third eye between the brow – INDIGO - Clarity
Element Space

Owl pose
Inhale sit tall (spine long) looking forward, Left hand on right knee. Right hand relaxed or resting lightly on right shoulder
Exhale rotate to the right, leading with your brow, keep spine long, rotating through your left hip.
Hold for 3-5 breaths. Lengthening spine on inhale, deeper rotation on exhale.
Repeat on other side.

Triangle Breath
With namaste hands bring the thumbs to the brow. Close eyes.
Inhale to a count of 3
Hold for a count of 3
Exhale for a count of 3
Repeat this 3 part breath 3-5 times

Advanced breathing Alternate Nostril Breath
Place first 2 fingers between eyebrows. Use thumb to block one nostril and 3rd finger to block the other by pressing on side of nose.
Close left nostril and inhale through right nostril
Hold and close both nostrils
Open left nostril and exhale through left nostril.
Reverse and inhale left side, hold and exhale right side.
Repeat sequence 3-5 time.

Crown Chakra
Top of Head – VIOLET - Boundlessness
Element Universe

Shoulder stretch
Interlace finger behind head
Inhale – reach arms up, pressing palms skyward
Exhale – bring hands back behind head
Repeat 3 times

After 3rd time release hands but continue to reach up, palms facing each other. With hands make circles to gather in peace, love and light from the universe. Bring palms together overhead and then lower to heart center.

With eyes closed take a moment to OBSERVE (not judge) any thoughts that surface or any physical sensations in your body. When ready open your eyes.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Greet The Day

This series is a great way to "Greet The Day" (20 minutes to complete)

Start Position

Lying on back, lengthen the back, legs and arms. Bend right knee then left knee and keep feet on floor. Arms at sides.
Leg extensions
Start position; straighten right knee by sliding heel along floor. Slide heel back to bent knee position. Repeat with left leg – straighten then bend again. Alternate legs and repeat 3-5 times.
Pelvic tilts
Start position; tuck bottom to rotate and lift hips, press lower back to floor. Repeat 5-10 times.
Neck/Shoulder rolls
Start position; slide shoulders up toward ears then back and down. Repeat.
Roll right ear toward the floor, back to center, left side, back to center.
Knee to chest
Start position; pull right knee to chest – hold – return to start. Repeat with left leg. Repeat again but also straighten opposite leg. (e.g. Right knee to chest, straighten left leg).
Reverse sit-ups
Start position; palms down next to hips. Roll knees toward chest and lift hips. Repeat 6-15 times.
Straighten leg from knee to chest
Start position; bring right knee to chest. Straighten right leg to ceiling - Hold. Keep leg straight and lower slowly to floor Bend knee to start position. Repeat with left leg. Alternate legs and repeat 3 times.
Sit up
Start position; hands behind head. Supporting weight of head with arms, lift shoulders in partial sit up. Lower slowly back to floor. Repeat 6-15 times.
Leg lifts
Start position; straighten right leg along floor. Lift so that foot is pointing to ceiling –Hold – lower slowly to 45 degrees –Hold- lower to 2’’ from floor –Hold. Release and then bend knee once foot touches floor. Repeat left leg. Alternate and repeat 3-6 times.
Sit ups – Hips open
Start position; pressing bottoms of feet together let knees fall to sides. Place arms across chest. Lift head and shoulders in partial sit up. Lower to floor. Repeat 6-15 times.
Start position; arms out to side forming a “T”. Shift hips an inch to left, keeping knees together lower to the right. Turn head to look left. Hold. Repeat on other side.
Oblique crunches (Modified Pigeon)
Start position; place left ankle on right knee. Lift right knee toward chest. Lower and repeat 3 times. Place hands behind head. Lift right elbow toward left knee in partial sit up. Repeat 6-15 times. Repeat on other side (right ankle on left knee).
Knees bent; lift hips to ceiling, resting on shoulders and hold. Lower hips.
Continuing from bridge roll up to Forward bend
Sit up to pike position. Wrap arms behind thighs and slowly straighten legs, bending at hips.
Side Leg lifts
Lying on left side, knees bent.
  • Bring right knee toward chest, then back straight (repeat 3 times).
  • Lift leg to ceiling (repeat 5-10 times). Try heel up and toe up.
  • Bend top knee and place foot in front of hip, bottom leg straight. Lift bottom leg (5-10 times).
  • Bend top knee, reach foot back and grab with top hand. Stretch thigh.
  • Pull against foot with hand and arch back.
  • Extend leg straight to ceiling while still holding foot. Release. Repeat on right side.
Supine Leg lifts
Roll onto stomach; hands under forehead; alternate lifting legs, keeping legs straight (10-20 times).
Child’s pose
Lifting hips first, push back onto heels, forehead on floor, arms reaching forward.
Modified Push up
Come forward out of child’s pose arms straight, shoulders above (slightly forward) of wrists. Lower slowly keeping hips above shoulders. (No sagging backs)
Modified Locust
Rest on forearms; lift shoulders (elbows under shoulders, fingers forward) and gaze forward. Let spine hang in gentle curve from shoulders and lengthen through the top of head.
Child’s pose/Modified Push up
Arm Lifts
Lying on stomach, reach arms forward (overhead). Lift arms, Forehead on floor, thumbs up, arms straight (10 times). Put arms out in “T” position, lift arms, thumbs up (10 times) Put arms at side, lift arms, thumbs down (10 times).
Child’s pose/Modified Push up
Lying on stomach, arms at sides. Roll partially to left side and place right arm, palm down under hips. Roll back to right side and place left arm, palm down other hip. Try to have little fingers touch. Relax left leg while lifting right leg - Hold. Reverse legs. Lift both legs - Hold. Release.
Child’s pose
Push back onto heels, forehead on floor, arms relaxed at sides.
Hero’s Pose (Modification for sensitive knees: Chair pose on toes)
  • Sit back on heels, hold.
  • Roll toes under and hold.
  • Lift knees up, keeping thighs parallel to floor, hold.
  • Roll back onto heels and hold in squat position.
Forward Bend - Finish
From squat, place hands on floor, straighten legs and stretch hamstrings. Bring hands to hips. Come up to standing position.

Moon Salutation

This version is true to the phases of the moon both in sequence and poses.