Flow w/Fred – 9.4.14 (YFD – Calming the Anxiety)

With a new month comes a new sequence!  As we used a substantial warm-up, Sun Salutation A, a modified Sun B and some strong Mountain 2 flows, we for partner bow.  The whole class tonight centered around opening through the thoracic vertebrae to allow the lungs to expand.  I wanted everyone to breath deeper and fuller than they had in a long time.  I wanted us to find neutral.

We introduced Alternate-Nostril breathing for the first time tonight and the class rocked it :).  Here is a link to more information and a YouTube video for your viewing pleasure.

http://www.artofliving.org/us-en/yoga/breathing-techniques/alternate-nostril-breathing-nadi-shodhan

Calming the Anxiety
“Breathing,” says Yoga physiologist David Coulter, Ph.D, “is one of the most remarkable functions of anatomy and physiology.  It is the only biological activity which can be brought under full conscious control and yet functions semiautomatically twenty-four hours a day.”  If you do nothing else but commit to learning pranayama breathing, you will bring not only your breath under conscious control, but also your emotions.  This doesn’t mean you will repress your feelings, but rather you will begin to witness and more able manage them.

“I’m a writer, and I literally lose words that I know.  It’s as if I’m standing on one side of a synapse, peering to the other side.  There’s a word there – the very word I want for a poem I’m writing – but I can’t reach it.  It remains there, dancing, just beyond my ability to grasp it.  It’s a very frustrating experience, and it invariably signals the onset of depression.  I’ll write a perfectly decent poem and feel like it’s nothing, worse than nothing, I’m worse than nothing.”

Learn to be very watchful, and to refuse to give in to the self-judgments.  Learn how to take care of yourself by increasing your prana by getting outdoors, taking long walks, and riding your bike.  Find your breath.  Find your space.

“I’ve found that rhythmic deep breathing, and especially Alternate-Nostril breathing (Nadi Sodhana), can be very nurturing, and even allow me to be ‘outside’ of the depression for a time.”  My breath can neutralize the energy.

BOOK – “Yoga for Depression” by Amy Weintrab

 

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Flow w/Fred – 8.14.14 (YFD – Naturally High)

I’m rushing out of the house this morning to get to my YogaFit – Yoga for Kids training in Raleigh :).  Enjoy and we’d love to have you in a class soon!  Come as you are … not as you think you need to be :).

Naturally High

When we clear away the obstacles to the free flow of thought and feeling through regular Yoga and pranayama breathing practice, we can revitalize our prana.

When we restrict the breath, we are diminishing the spirit.  When we relearn to breathe fully and deeply, we are enlarging the spirit and reconnecting with the Self.  When we are breathing consciously, we remember who we are.

Pranayama means the “control of life breath.”  The ancient Yogis understood that when you can consciously regulate the breath, you can manage your feelings and moods by accelerating your energy or by putting on the brakes.  Harnessing prana through pranayama breathing exercises gives you tremendous power at your abdominals.  It’s like revving up your engine, moving from six horsepower to sixty!

The author states – “As I worked with my breath – experimenting with pranayama – and my thoughts – using affirmations and cognitive therapy exercises to counteract my negative thinking – I was able to accept the scared little girl inside, the suddenly sluggish middle-aged woman, and my body that would not always be trim and fit and healthy, my body that is continuing to change as I grow older.”

BOOK – “Yoga for Depression” by Amy Weintrab

Flow w/Fred – 8.7.14 (YFD – Prana)

When you step onto your mat, it presents an opportunity for you to connect with your mind and body in that present moment.  There are no distractions.  There is no judgment.  There is no competition.  The moment is capable of righting all wrongs, loving unconditionally and rejuvenating our relationship with ourselves.  In our class last Thursday, we discussed prana (the energy in the atmosphere through oxygen-rich air).  I am guilty of the draw that movies, hockey and social media can have on my interaction with the natural world.  In moderation, these areas make my life fuller.  When I allow these avenues of my life to consume my time, they lead me to a life starving of prana.  In the present moment, there is the opportunity to become full.  Last night I sat on my backyard swing during the drizzling rain.  Even during the overcast days, there are opportunities to connect back with the world and increase your prana.  Have a great one and thanks for reading! 

Prana – I will feed my body and become full.

Prana (small p) refers to the energy in the atmosphere – oxygen-rich air.  Modern yogis have become health conscious and more often live lives not of withdrawal but of community.  We are more interested in positive mental health than in liberation.  And so we take ourselves out to nature to be inspired and to breathe the prana-rich air.

Obviously, there is less prana available in the artificial atmosphere of an office building than in the broad sweep of the beach.  If you are someone who lives in a high-rise, works in an office building, and commutes for long periods of time, your depression may be magnified by the reduction in atmospheric prana.  How often do your feet actually touch the earth?

For most of us who use computers and cell phones and watch television, the environment in which we work and play can contribute not only to a disturbance in our bioenergetic field, but to a kind of prana starvation.  We often don’t realize the extent to which our systems are deprived of prana.  What we do, what we eat, what we breathe – is contributing to a rise in depression and hopelessness.  (Particularly among young people.)

“We may not be able to move to the mountains or to the beach, but we can use our asanas, pranayama techniques and our community to enrich our prana.”

BOOK – “Yoga for Depression” by Amy Weintrab