Flow w/Fred – 8.28.14 (YFD – Balancing Left and Right)

Pranayama techniques have fascinated me.  I spend a lot of time throughout my classes introducing or reminding students just how powerful they are.  We are able to aid our physical and emotional body through these different techniques.  I’ve introduced three part breath and ujjayi breath to my classes, but never ventured out to alternate nostril or one sided nostril breathing.  In our deep and powerful breaths, the use of the diaphragm is so crucial to sufficiently oxygenate the blood.  It is such a joy to watch as a student learns to breath deeply and fully … connected physically and emotionally.  

With nostril breathing, there are opportunities to stimulate the body and calm the body.  There are times throughout my day that I need my body to function at a higher capacity.  Right nostril breathing allows me to increase my metabolism and help with some digestion.  There are times throughout my day that I get frustrated, upset, angry or even down.  Left nostril breathing allows me to calm my thought process and slow down my heart rate.  Both are equally significant and very much needed.  In class we took two cycles of breaths on each side for balance.  I am excited to see how these breathing techniques continue to impact my students.  

We will introduce alternate nostril breathing next week!  Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment :).

Balancing Left and Right
Mental illness is a state of imbalance, so Alternate-Nostril Breathing or Purifying Breath, is a good way to provide balance for the right/left hemispheres of the brain and to increase oxygen to the cerebral tissues, which likely increases blood flow to the brain tissue.  Right nostril breathing has a stimulating effect on the body and mind, while left nostril breathing has a calming effect.  

If someone is suffering from major depressive episodes, their energy might be expanded with right nostril breathing, in which you inhale through the right nostril and exhale through the left.  On the other hand, if you are feeling anxiety, a few extra rounds of left nostril breathing will help.

In Yogic terms, suffering can be explained by an imbalance in energy channels (nadis).  As a left nostril breather, there is continual enhancement of lunar, cooling energy channels and an imbalance with the heating, energy channels.  The importance of breathing on both the right and left sides of the body, balancing the cooling and heating energies.

“Twenty years of chronic depression lifted like a cloud,” he says.  Kevin felt that Right Nostril Breathing would not have been effective if he were still drinking and had not gone through years of traditional psychotherapy.  For Kevin, recovering from depression was a multipronged approach, but he believes that learning and practicing Right Nostril Breathing was “the crowning touch.”

BOOK – “Yoga for Depression” by Amy Weintrab

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Winston Salem RoadRunners – 7.16.14 (German National Soccer Team)

It was another great night with the Winston Salem RoadRunners!  The group of five boys that I am working with are really doing a great job.  With the age ranges from 11-16, it is really impressive how they can focus during savasana.  As much as we are working to increase flexibility, strength and start to gain a sense of balance through understanding their center of gravity, the ability to focus is extremely important at their age.  They have a track meet this weekend and I’m really interested and excited to see how they do.  Hopefully I can report back after our class on Sunday that they noticed some differences either with their flexibility (prevent injuries before and after races), strength (increase in 50m, 100m relays) and have a better sense of their body in the starting blocks.  Taking yoga to athletes is a big passion of mine and I’m extremely excited that the Winston Salem RoadRunners have partnered with Yoga Mindset and allowed me to work with the boys.  Can’t wait to hear how this weekend goes!  Last class we brought up Calvin Johnson and how the Detroit Lions use yoga with their players for the above reasons.  Tonight we talked about the German Men’s National Soccer Team.  Check out the article below and the meditation we used tonight.  Thanks for reading!

German Footballers Turn to Yoga

Balance – the state of having your weight spread evenly so as not to fall.
Balance poses, like tree, eagle and others, strengthen your lower legs and hone your proprioception so you grow more aware of where you body is in space.  The poses also teach a more subtle awareness of your body’s center of gravity in different positions.
In yoga, you’ll move the body through every available direction.  Sometimes you’ll be standing, sometimes you’ll be upside down.  Your perspectives will change, and you’ll get a fuller sense of your body and what it can do.
Sports are goal-oriented.  In your workouts, games and races, you aim to cover a distance, to achieve a time, to beat the competition, or to reach a certain speed or heart rate – doing something.  Yoga instead emphasizes the process – being in the present moment.  Think of it as a mental recovery workout.

BOOK – “The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga” by Sage Rountree.

Tuesdays @ Triad Fitness/Thomasville YMCA – 7.15.14 (Ahimsa – Balance)

Another great evening last night with the folks at the Triad Fitness Center and the Thomasville YMCA as we continue our study of Ahimsa (Nonviolence).  It is very easy to look at Ahimsa as just how we physically treat people and refrain from actually hurting someone by physical means.  It goes so much deeper.  Our focus for class was the mantra, “I am balanced.”  Yoga has done wonders for my balance between the left and ride sides of my body.  The asanas are extremely helpful in healing the physical body.  The same healing can be attained when looking at the balance between the inside and the outside of the body.  Take a moment to look at the passage we read last night as part of our meditation.  Thanks for reading!

Creating Balance
Mantra – I am balanced.

  Imbalance in our systems is almost a certainty for violence, as the “dis-ease” we feel within finds its way to expression outwards.  Balance creates harmony within us, and harmony within naturally expresses itself in external actions that are harmonious.  
  We are a hungry, noisy people, bombarded with stimulation and advertisements that promise to grant us our deepest desires.  It is anti-cultural to claim any space that is simply space, or to move with any kind of lingering, or to take time for closure.  We are bombarded and we bombard ourselves.
  Like the body, the mind and soul need time to rest.  We create this rest by allowing space that we can breathe in.  Not more clutter, but more space, space to reflect, space to journal, space for closure, space for imagination, and space to feel the calling of the life force within us.  
  Balance is like this.  Spreading ourselves thin looks impressive, but in the end, we are the first to lose.  The health and well-being of our body, mind and spirit is a powerful resource and by keeping ourselves in balance, we can stride through life with greater competence and ease.

Book – “The Yamas and Niyamas” by Deborah Adele