Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yoga for patience

I need patience.  Daily.  The weather here has been SO nice, and despite the fact that it's just February, I have spring fever.  And many people around me do, too.  I just want to plant my garden and take my dog to the lake.  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently, it is, because the temps are dropping again.
So, how does one go about getting more patience?
First, breathe.  Take long, slow, deep breaths, really feeling the air all the way in your lungs.  Notice the expansion of your lungs.  See if you can feel all those little sacks of air.
Second, be grateful.  Look around you and find reasons to be grateful for what is.  What can you enjoy this moment that might be fleeting?  (So, I'm enjoying the few minutes of sunshine & the fact that my life is not rushing by too quickly)
Third, do yoga, of course!  Yin Yoga is a great reminder for patience.  In Yin, we hold the pose as much as 5 minutes.  This is a great teacher of patience.  We breathe, we bring the monkey mind back to the present, and we wait.  With practice, it becomes less "waiting", and more "being".  Count your breaths, if the mind really wanders, but keep trying to be right here, in the moment.
If you would like to practice patience at home, simply try a supported child's pose, or breathe through a long pigeon pose.  At the studio, we incorporate Yin poses into all of our Restorative classes (check out http://www.mountainyogatn.com/ for the schedule).  For more online info, look up Paul Grilley.  He's the Yin guru.
So, take a breath.  Be patient.  All you need is already here.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lavender Essential Oil

At Mountain Yoga, we employ many forms of aromatherapy, from candles & incense, to pure essential oils.  According to Web MD, Aromatherapy is defined as "the use of essential oils from plants as therapy to improve physical, emotional & spiritual well-being".
Lavender essential oil is a favorite at our studio. We mix a few drops in some water & use as a calming spray that helps deepen sivasana.  Lavender has some hormone-like effects, but with few bad side effects.  It may improve the quality of life for cancer patients by relieving their stress & anxiety.  Lavender has been proven to enhance relaxation, relieve anxiety and help with depression.  The scent of it has even been proven to enhance sleep.
I like lavender essential oil, especially during these cold winter months.  It helps my mood, and calms my monkey-mind.
For more information, check out WebMD, aromatherapy.
My favorite lavender oil is here:  www.youngliving.com/essential-oils/Lavender, but you can find it at any health food store.  If you go to young living, you can use my distributer number:  1064064.
Happy sleeping!