Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

Ajna-Third Eye Chakra

Image from Bodhi Yoga website

The Sixth Chakra, Ajna, or Third Eye Chakra is located in the center of the brow, slightly above the eyes. It governs our intuition and insight, our understanding of what's going on inside and outside of our beings. The color of this chakra is indigo.

From the Bodhi Yoga website:

This space element chakra is located between the brow center of the forehead, with the pineal gland, developing even before the brain in embryo, often called “the third eye”.  This center is where you learn how to “move mountains” with your inner vision; to create the most abundance with the least amount of effort. This center also governs your inner life cycle clock, triggering puberty, adulthood and eventually the timing of transitioning from your body into Spirit, through a process we call death.  Issues in the Brow Chakra usually surface to help you learn to trust your sixth-sense, and let go of illusions, as you discern the difference between the time being right as apposed to “RIPE”.

Illusions, what an interesting shadow. To balance the sixth chakra, we can use guided imagery, dream journaling, chanting, vision boards, memory games, color therapy, aromatherapy.

My affirmation for the Third Eye chakra:

I am wise. I see. I take in the symbolic meaning of life.


Mudra for the Third Eye Chakra






Thursday, December 3, 2015

Visuddha-Throat Chakra

Image from Bodhi Yoga Website
The Fith Chakra, Visuddha or Throat Chakra, is located in the throat area, mouth and ears. It governs our ability to communicate, express the essential truth of who we are. The color of this chakra is azure blue.

From the Bodhi Yoga website:

A great communicator is someone who can both hear and be heard, as well as understand the “vibe” of any given experience.  This sound element chakra encompasses all the way down to the “vibrational” level of the bright blue color spectrum. Your surroundings also “say” a lot about who you are communicating yourself to be.  When you live in integrity with who you present yourself to be, your presence will have cleansing effect on others. When you enjoy a balanced Throat Chakra you can speak your truths, as well as listen to others truths of who you are to them.  Issues in the Throat Chakra usually surface to help you learn to live more honestly, to purify yourself from the lies or stories you’ve been telling yourself, and let the truth of who you are raise your “good vibrations” to the surface.

In other words, the shadow of this chakra is lies of any kind. We balance this chakra by communicating with others, Living Movement, chanting, listening to others, writing, neck massage, sighing, laughing, and singing!

My affirmation for the throat chakra:

I express myself fully and appropriately. I hear and speak my truth. 


Mudra of the Throat Chakra

Monday, November 30, 2015

Anahata-Heart Chakra

Image from Bodhi Yoga Website

The fourth Chakra, Anahata or Heart Chakra is located in the heart and extends to our arms and hands. It governs our ability to give and receive love. It is also where physical and spiritual come together, yin-yang, male-female relationships. The color of this chakra is green. 

From the Bodhi Yoga Website


The shadow of this chakra is grief. Some things that help balance this chakra are:  practicing gratitude, forgiveness, heart opening yoga, hugging, rubbing the sternum, massage, laughing with friends. 

My affirmation for the Heart Chakra: 

I am filled with Love. I am a being of Light and Love. 

Or

I embrace all that life has to teach me, wholeheartedly. I am filled with gratitude, compassion and LOVE. 

Mudra of the Heart Chakra

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Manipura-Solar Chakra

Image from Bodhi Yoga website


The third Chakra, Manipura or Solar Chakra is located in the upper abdomen, from the navel to the solar plexus, or core of the body. It has to do with our will, personal power, confidence and sense of self.  The color of this chakra is yellow.

From the Bodhi Yoga website:

Your third chakra governs your personal power to transform and empower your life to become the way you would choose.  When you have a healthy Solar Chakra, you are motivated to make great things happen for yourself and others. This fire element chakra... is the hub of the digestive processes, both physically and metaphorically, transforming raw material into empowering energy... things begin to heat up and get you motivated to shine on your potential.   Issues in your Solar Chakra usually arise for you to learn to take a stand, OWN who YOU are, BIG-TIME, and shed the shame in your life that arises from the distorted use of power.

Shame and pride are the shadow of this chakra, very interesting. We ignite our power center with Kapalabhati breathing, Yoga (specifically back bends and core work), walking, empowered action, sunshine, and laughing.

My affirmation for the Solar Chakra:

I accept myself completely. I fullfill my potential. I am..

Mudra for the Solar Chakra

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Swadhisthana-Sacral Chakra

Sacral Chakra Image from Bodhi Yoga website
The second chakra, Swadhisthana or Sacral Chakra is located in the lower addomen and it has to do with sexuality, emotions and creativity. It is where we conceive and create, whether a human body or a blog post (well, not fully a blogpost, since this is mainly instinctual creativity and there's nothing instinctual about bloging...at least for me). The color of this chakra is orange.

From the Bodhi Yoga website:

When you have a healthy “Sacral Chakra”, you naturally enjoy life’s ebb and flow, and have a strong instinct for fun.  This water element chakra holds your instinctual emotions of creativity, movement and playfulness... The vibrational range of orange on the color spectrum, things begin to move in relation to others in your circle.   Issues in your Sacral Chakra usually arise for you to learn to play a more healthy balance between expression and repression of your emotions, sexuality and instinctual creativity, which can flow more easily when you let go of  those over doses of guilt in your life.

So guilt is the shadow, and we nourish the Sacral Chakra by recognizing and expressing our emotions, moving our bodies freely, sensual pleasures and creativity.

Here's my affirmation for the Sacral chakra:

My Life is a pleasure and delight, filled with fun and creativity! 


Mudra for the Sacral Chakra

Friday, November 13, 2015

Muladhara-Root Chakra

Root Chakra image from Bodhi Yoga 
The first Chakra, Muladhara or Root Chakra is found at the base of the spine, perineum, legs and feet.  It is the foundation or root of all the other chakras. It has to do with instinct, security, survival and potential. Red is the color for this chakra. 



From the Bodhi Yoga website:

Fear is the shadow of the Root Chakra. How safe and secure do you feel? Do you take care of your basic needs? 

We can nourish our root chakra by attending to our basic physical needs, nourishing and nurturing ourselves. 

I pieced together this affirmation (most of it from the Bodhi Yoga Chakra Deck) for myself: 


"I attend to my body mind and spirit everyday. I rely on God to provide physical support and safety. I manifest blessings into my life continually. All that I need now is here" 



This is the mudra for the Root Chakra


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Chakras


I enjoy learning different languages. I speak English and Spanish fluently and understand a couple of other languages.  I believe languages assist us in understanding the world, they give us a frame of reference, allow us to perceive things in more ways than one, and understand things on different levels and from various perspectives. And it's not just speaking languages, there's computer languages, and the language of art, food, dance, etc, etc. 

I have been studying Chakras with Syl Carson at Bodhi Yoga, and it has been like learning a new language. It has given me a new way of understanding and explaining my experience on this earth. 
Chakra Yoga Therapy with Syl Carson

Chakra means "wheel", or circle. It refers to energy centers in the body. There are many centers of energy, with 7 main chakras. I will write a little about each one. 


Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Bodhi Path


The lovely, healing, empowering, Bodhi Yoga Center

Bodhi: 1. the knowledge of awareness by which one experiences enlightenment
            2. the experience of awakening through awareness, pure intent, faith unwavering

From the Bodhi Yoga website: 

“Bodhi” is a sanskrit word that means “Awakening”.  At Bodhi Yoga™ our practice is designed to help you be more aware; better able to notice and understand how your yoga moves your body, mind, emotions and spirit toward a place of balance and abundance.  Over time, the result is that you are able to naturally increase your tolerance for that wonderful awareness.  We honor your yoga practice as a great tool to bring the abundance you learn in class, outward to enrich every other area of your life.

Bodhi Yoga™ is a slower paced yoga, where we teach you to pay as much attention to how you move in and out of the yoga poses, as being in the postures themselves.  Our focus is on creating the space for increased stamina, resilience and awareness in your practice and your life.  When we slow down our breath and movement together, the intensity and focus of your practice deepens into something brand new; a style of practice that fosters both emotional intelligence, maturity and appreciation.

The above paragraphs explain the core reason why, after almost 20 years of practicing yoga,  I chose to do my teacher training through Bodhi Yoga. I began serious study almost a year ago, and it has been an amazing experience of diving deep and becoming immersed in all aspects of yoga. I have loved taking the time to study and explore. As I learned to slow down my breath and movement, and deepen the intensity and focus of my practice, the same happened with my study and preparation to certify as a Yoga Instructor. I have moved (and will continue to move) toward awareness of this place of balance and abundance.

Becoming more awake, more conscious, more present, and thus experiencing more joy, this is the path I seek. As I complete the requirements for my Teacher Training, I will begin teaching at Bodhi Yoga, and that is a dream come true!



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Why Bodhi Yoga

Image from Gobodhiyoga.com
I have been asked why, out of all the wonderful options available, I chose Bodhi Yoga to get my Yoga Teacher certification. Here is my answer. 

First of all, Bodhi Yoga offers a Yoga Alliance certified 200 hour course that includes: 

-5 immersion weekends, with a small group
-500 page manual and DVD-CD kit
-5 month Bodhi Yoga class membership
-200+ hours full teacher training streaming online 

Bodhi Yoga website says that "Once certified as a Yoga teacher you will be qualified to:
  1. • To teach a complete repertoire of Yoga Postures
  2. • A variety of BodhiFlow Vinyasa Power Yoga Styles and Sequencing
  3. • A variety of BodhiYin Restorative Styles and Sequencing
  4. • A variety of BodhiSpin Chakra Styles with Kundalini Style Sequencing
  5. • The twelve Systems of the Body as related to the body of Yoga
  6. • Anatomy/Emotions of Yoga Movement
  7. • Structures of Sanskrit/Yoga Chant/Ayurveda
  8. • Teaching students body awareness, and how to move through beginning through advanced yoga postures using Bodhi Yoga’s Natural Progression™ approach to Asanas
  9. • Comprehensive Hands-on-adjusting 
  10. • How to develop Specialized Classes from Pre-Natal, Kids to a range of Therapeutic Yoga
  11. • Skills for designing individually appropriate private sessions with confidence & authenticity.

I have gained all that is on that list, and more. I am so thrilled, it has been an amazing life changing experience. Totally worth it!  






Friday, October 30, 2015

Yoga With Children

My husband and I were visiting with our son's family, and as we stood around the kitchen counter with the family, I mentioned that I wanted to do yoga each day during our visit.  I was excited that my granddaughters immediately said they wanted to join me. However, I was surprised the next morning when all the children joined in, even the 2 year! And what surprised me the most was the 5 year old boy, who kept saying throughout the day "I want to do yoga again" or "when can we do yoga again?". It was so much fun!

We did a slow vinyasa flow each morning, plus a few other poses. Here are the things that worked:

1. Keep it short. Aim for 10-15 minutes, but let the children's attention determine the length of practice.

2. Stand in a circle, so they can see each other and have fun.

3. Describe the poses and the transitions between them, with as much detail as possible. Be ready to stop and assist when ever they ask. Encourage them to implement your yoga "suggestions" in what ever way they interpret them...as long as it's safe!


4. Liken the poses and movements to animals, or other creatures. Be ready to explain or laugh at the names of poses! Acknowledge and celebrate the names and comparisons they come up with.

5. Let the children remind you of the joy of being present, fully engaged. Be amazed along with them. One little granddaughter was amazed when she tried clasping her hands together behind her, with the opposite thumb from what she usually uses, on top. "I didn't even know you could do that!"

Lots more great ideas in the BodhiKids portion of Bodhi Teacher Training. 







Tuesday, October 20, 2015

PRENATAL YOGA

Image from BodhiYoga.com

Early in my mothering years, I became a childbirth educator with the Association for Childbirth at Home International (ACHI). I loved everything to do with childbirth so much, and I thought I wanted to become a midwife. I pursued this course, studying and assisting as a birth attendant at many births. After a couple of years I realized this was not my path and moved on to other pursuits. However, pregnancy and birth have continued to be one of my great passions. The things I learned and taught helped me with bringing my 5 children to light, and have continued to serve as I've assited my daughters and friends as a doula, during their pregnancies and births.


Now with my yoga teacher training, I can bring these two passions of mine to work together. Yoga is a wonderful and safe way to prepare for birth and mothering. It teaches you ways to strengthen and relax your body, and can help relieve some of the discomforts of pregnancy.

I am very excited for Bodhi Yoga's Prenatal program, it will provide great support for mothers and their partners! There is an upcoming workshop, November 7, 14 and 21st, 1-3 PM.



Pregnancy is not just nine months before a woman gives birth, it is a very physical metaphor that is preparing her for the mothering she will be doing for the rest of her life and the relationship she will share with her child.  Bodhi Yoga’s pre-natal workshops and classes hold the space for she and her partner in a way that supports a yogic approach to pregnancy, childbirth and parenting in a uniquely transformative way.
Syl Carson-Bodhi Yoga Founding Director 




Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bodhi Living Movement

Frances doing Bodhi Living Movement
Living Movement is a very unique practice offered at the Provo Bodhi Center Wednesdays and Fridays 10:15-11 AM. 

On the Bodhi Yoga website it is described this way:

Your morning stretch, combined with meditative, conscious, moving Yoga Nidra.  Spending time dedicated to “snail’s pace” moves is incredibly healing; within primal stretching, sound and stillness.


Wikipedia says "Yoga nidra or "yogic sleep" is a sleep-like state which yogis report to experience during their meditations. Yoga nidra, lucid sleeping is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness... The practice of yoga relaxation has been found to reduce tension and anxiety." 

Bodhi Living Movement is not like a traditional yoga class, where the participants follow  specific movements or poses demonstrated by an instructor. It is rather a gathering. A space and time to give yourself the opportunity to dive deep into a moving meditation that takes you into Yoga Nidra, thus creating amazing relaxation, which will reduce stress and in many cases produce healing. 


It's a new experience to let the body decide how to move, rather than have the mind dictate the movement

I went into Living Movement with an open mind, thinking that even if it was boring, it would only last 45 minutes. The instructor explained the process, taught us techniques and tools to help us let go and allow our bodies to lead the movement, and assisted with bolsters, etc. 

It was definitely not boring. I have to say that I was amazed when the time was up, I thought only 10-15 minutes had passed! Think of a time you woke up on your own, not to an alarm, and stretched luxuriously. You didn't have to think about HOW to move your body, your body knew which way to stretch and for how long. Well, it's a little like that, times 100. 

I felt relaxed, refresed, and renewed. My state of mind  as I completed the experience: "Everything's ok, no matter what happens".  I am looking forward to doing more Living Movement! 


You might or might not end up in a pose like this, your body knows what it needs.




Friday, October 9, 2015

Generosity & Gratitude

This wonderful book was given to me by a lovely yogi named Carol Jo. My husband looked over my shoulder one day as I was reading and asked, "what good is it to highlight, when you are highlighting the whole book?" He was right, I LOVE everyword in this book. 
My granddaughter Brielle and I are playing a game. Each day we text eachother 3 things we are grateful for. This got me thinking about Gratitude, and I realized that Generosity is the other side of the coin of gratitude.                                                                            
Here is a favorite passage from WHEREEVER YOU GO THERE YOU ARE: 



My yoga practice has been teaching me these lessons. I am so grateful for Bodhi Yoga, a place where I can dive deep into mindfulness and cultivate these qualities. The Yoga Teacher Training has been one of the best gifts I have given myself! 


Thursday, October 8, 2015

BodhiSpin™

Chakra mandalas displayed on the Bodhi Center altar

BodhiSpin™is a "Kundalini style" practice and it looks very different from traditional styles of yoga.

The focus of BodhiSpin™practice is to move Kundalini energy, or life force that sits at the base of the spine, up the body through repetitive physical postures. The energy spirals up from the lower chakras and then out through the heart and other upper chakras. This awakens awareness and cultivates the spirit.

This practice includes use of  bandhas and movements like undulation, churning, and spinning to raise the Kundalini  energy. Kapalabhati or Breath of Fire is one of the breaths used in BodhiSpin™. The practice begins and ends with chanting and includes a seated meditation.

The place to embark on this Chakra awakening adventure is Bodhi Yoga on Tuesdays 8:30 AM.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Restorative Yoga, Ahhhhhh!



I have been studying many different styles of yoga,  and I am prepared to teach several of them. The most rewarding classes I teach are the BodhiYin Restorative at the Bodhi Yoga Center.

People who are injured, ill, elderly or who just need to recharge, will benefit from Restorative yoga. Restorative yoga helps relieve the effects of chronic stress, as it allows the body to relax and recharge with very little physical effort. The more you let go and relax, the more you benefit from a restorative practice.

BodhiYin practice uses bolsters, blankets and other props to support the body in total relaxation. The sequences are designed to move the spine in all directions and the internal organs are stimulated and soothed. Easy inverted poses might be included to reverse the effect of gravity. Restorative yoga strives to balance the upward and downward energy currents, so the body is neither depleted nor overstimulated. Supported poses are held for longer periods of time to allow the body to let go. You breathe and let go and let time and relaxation take you to your own Fountain of Youth to be restored.

If you need your energy reservoirs refilled, want to feel rejuvenated and restored, come to a BodhiYin class! Mondays and Thursdays 8:30-10 AM or Wednesdays 6:30 PM.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

On Meditation

Children at play, mindful and fully present

I recently read a wonderful book, Yoga Beyond Belief, by Ganga White. Here is a segment about Meditation:

As soon as we ask how to meditate, we are thrown into the field of techniques and practices...I would like to point out two greneral approaches to meditation. The first approach defines meditation in terms of specific practices, techniques. Literally thousands of formal meditation practices promise specific results. The majority of these formal practices can be characterized as...learning and developing the ability to control your mind and thoughts, through the practice of a technique....but the deeper meaning of meditation also impolies a state of seeing and being and not merely a controlled doing. 

Fortunately, meditation can also involve spontaneous awakening of perception, artistry, and insight that inspire a very natural flow and state of being that pervades our entire life. It does not necessarily require years of practice effort and mind control. This second broad approach of meditation is more mysterious and indefinable; it sees the essence of meditation to lie beyond form and mechanical practice. This approach to meditation involves a living, evolving energy of perception that has a beginning, but no end, and no specific formal practice. 

This formless form is without limitation and can take place any time, any place and encompasses meditation as a quality of insight and awareness that, when awakened, can move through and integrate all parts of life.....We begin to see all things in life as part of meditation...the meditation that is your life. 

This resonated with me. I have been formally meditating for many years, and I love and look forward to those moments of being still and tapping into the Inefable, but after reading this I have begun to recognize the magic of mindfulness in all situations. Life has become richer as I strive to be awake to it.

Another unexpected gift from my Teacher Training adventure at Bodhi Yoga. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga


I just read an interesting article in Dynamic Chiropractic, A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga, by Jasper Sidhu, BSc, DC. 

Here are some excerpts from his article, about specific benefits of Yoga for Musculoskeletal Complaints, according to several studies.

Low Back Pain: A systematic review by Crow, et al. (2015), found there was strong evidence for the short-term effectiveness for yoga.

Muscle Activation: If your patients require core muscle activation and are participating in yoga, a recent study by Ni M, et. al. (2014), sheds some light on muscle function during various poses. "High plank," "low plank" and "downward facing dog" were effective for strengthening the external oblique abdominis. "Chair" and "warrior 1" poses were useful for the gluteus maximus, and chair and "halfway lift" poses were effective for strengthening the longissimus thoracis. The "upward facing dog" pose can be used to strengthen all three muscles.

Arthritis: Although the average yoga user is younger than older, yoga may be beneficial for those with arthritis. A recent study by Moonaz SH, et al. (2015), assessed integral-based hatha yoga in sedentary people with arthritis. Preliminary evidence suggested yoga can be practiced safely and improves physical and psychological health, including health-related quality of life. Ghasemi GA, et al. (2013), also found yoga significantly reduced pain and symptoms in a group of women with osteoarthritis.

Which yoga exercises provide the best muscle activation for knee strengthening in patients with osteoarthritis? Longpre HS, et al. (2015), assessed various yoga postures, finding quadriceps activation was highest during the squat and lunge postures, producing more co-contraction indices than other postures. The wide-legged squat ("goddess") and lunge with trunk upright ("warrior") poses produced the lowest knee adduction moments, which may benefit those with knee osteoarthritis.
Flexibility: For flexibility training, yoga was shown to be more effective than calisthenics. Farinatti PT, et al. (2014), used hatha yoga for the study, which features slow, passive movements.
Spinal flexibility is also shown to improve with yoga use. Grabara M, et al. (2015), assessed the effects of hatha yoga for women older than age 50. Results demonstrated not only increased hamstring flexibility, but also overall spinal flexibility.
My favorite place to get all those yoga benefits, Bodhi Yoga in Provo! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Yoga adds Fun to Life


My last post was about how we did yoga everyday during our week in Lake Powell. The days were also filled with skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, surfing, hiking, swiming, paddle board, kayaks, relaxing, etc.

My husband and sons are big into all the water sports:
My son Jason

Me, not so much. In years past I have skied once or twice, than usually been too sore to do much more than happily relax and enjoy the water and sun the rest of the week.  This year my son, Skyler, taught me to wakeboard and I got up on the board every day, sometimes more than once! How was this possible? What made the difference? Maybe I'm finally old enough?  Ha ha, I doubt that!

The only real difference is YOGA!



Because of the Yoga Teacher Training I have been involved with all year, I have done yoga almost every day. I didn't realize how much difference it had made, until I shocked my family and surprised myself by not only asking to learn to wakeboard, but being able to stay with it until I got up!  I am so much stronger, and I have more stamina and flexibility.


I am truly amazed. I love yoga for it's own sake, and now even more for all this new fun it is allowing me to add to my life. Thank you Syl Carson at Bodhi Yoga! 


No tricks for me...yet. 







Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Yoga At Lake Powell




Various interpretations of my Yoga "suggestions"
Corey and Linken


In August, we spent a week at Lake Powell, like we have each summer for more than 30 years. It was wonderful, as usual.

Many times previously, I took time to practice yoga, and occasionally some family member would join me. This year we did yoga everyday, sometimes twice a day! It was so fun in our beautiful surroundings, and  it helped us be less sore and more ready for all the water activities.

Thank you Bodhi Yoga for the training. We did Vinyasa Bodhi Flow, Restorative, Prenatal and even some one on one work, addressing specific concerns.

I especially love how Linken and Kennedy joined in the fun! Here are some photos.





A little Tai Chi

Look at this little angel! 




A real "Happy Baby"


Beautiful April
Savasana...of sorts