Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What does it mean to 'ground'?

Often, in class, you'll hear an instructor talk about taking a moment "to ground", or describing a pose as "grounding".  Grounding is an energetic term, referring to the feeling of being connected to the earth.  As humans, we connect energetically to the earth, with a downward pull, and to the heavens, with an upward pull.  If either of these is out of balance, we can have trouble concentrating, focusing, or even trouble being creative.  When we spend too much time thinking, worrying, or planning, we need to balance that energy with 'grounding'.

Here's a simple exercise to help you get your feet back on the ground:
Sit or stand with both bare feet on the floor or your mat.
Take a few deep breaths, bringing your attention away from outside interferences, and into your body.
Using the sensory nerves in your feet, notice how the floor feels beneath you.
Is it cool? warm? firm? soft? sticky?
Next, invite your attention to your feet themselves. 
Can you feel the skin on your feet?  What sensations arise?
Sit with these feelings for 10-15 breaths, or as long as you need to feel connected and grounded again.

Use this grounding technique anytime you need to come back down, out of your head!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

40 Ways Yoga Heals

Exerpted from Yoga as Medicine:The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing by Timothy McCall, M.D.
1-Increases flexibility
2-Strengthens muscles
3-Improves balance
4-Improves immune function
5-Improves posture
6-Improves lung function
7-Leads to slower and deeper breathing
8-Discourages mouth breathing
9-Increases oxygenation of tissues
10-Improves joint health
11-Nourishes intervertebral disks
12-Improves return of venous blood
13-Increases circulation of lymph
14-Improves function of the feet
15-Improves proprioception
16-Increases control of bodily functions
17-Strengthens bones
18-Conditions the cardiovascular system
19-Promotes weight loss
20-Relaxes the nervous system
21-Improves the function of the nervous system
22-Improves brain function
23-Activates the left prefrontal cortex
24-Changes neurotransmitter levels
25-Lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
26-Lowers blood sugar
27-Lowers blood pressure
28-Improves levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
29-Thins the blood
30-Improves bowel function
31-Releases unconscious muscular gripping
32-Uses imagery to effect change in the body
33-Relieves pain
34-Lowers need for medication
35-Fosters healing relationships
36-Improves psychological health
37-Leads to healthier habits
38-Fosters spiritual growth
39-Elicits the placebo effect
40-Encourages involvement in your own healing

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kundalini Detox workshop

Last Saturday, January 7th, Sierra Hollister joined us from Asheville to teach a Kundalini Detox and Vitality workshop.  If you missed this workshop, you missed a real treat.  A true Detox class, this class moved all parts of the body, focusing on the lymph system.  Kundalini is a repetitive, breath-focused style of yoga, and we did many repetitions of some VERY cleansing movements.  We had 24 students in class, and the feedback has been wonderful.  Sierra is such a loving and kind instructor.  Her style was fun and energetic.   We can't wait to have Sierra join us again.  For more info about Sierra and her classes, check out her blog:  http://www.dragonflysamadhi.blogspot.com/